Shakespeare Up Late: A Right Royal Visit

I advise you arrive early and treat yourself to a pre-show pint (or two) because it’s that kind of show!

A bucketful of after-dark silliness

I mean this in the best possible way. Shakespeare Up Late delivers a bucketful of after-dark silliness for grownups who, like me, never actually grew up. The audience interaction is well executed and proved to be great fun.

The cast of four are superb and energetic, which even I found to be infectious after a long, hard day at the Edinburgh Fringe. They perform for us a warped version of Macbeth which plays around with elements of the current political climate.

Arlene McKay plays the titular thane with a charmingly dry wit, and the character is styled as a Sturgeon-esque First Minister of Scotland with ambitions of greater power, yet haunted by her past decisions regarding a holiday campervan. She avoids butting heads with the King through sly trickery and dirty deals. The King, himself, I immediately recognised the moment Jamie Richard-Stewart moulded his face into our Charles’ signature expression. He makes a great double-act alongside ‘Mrs King’ played decadently by Mary Jensik with no shortage of royal raunchiness. And Oliver Byng shines as ‘Mr Macbeth’ and ‘Alex Salmond’, giving excellent comic timing and was a joy to watch! All four actors display a huge degree of talent and were very clearly having a blast on stage.

Script-wise, I must admit I did get a little lost at times. Perhaps I lost track of which prop indicated which character the actor was playing, or perhaps I was just more tired than I thought. I certainly recommend going to see this show either way. Even if you get as mildly lost as I did, I expect you will still thoroughly enjoy the quick gags and larger-than life characters on stage.

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Reviews by Jasmine Arden-Brown

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

All-new Shakespearian shenanigans from the company behind Fringe favourite Shakespeare for Breakfast. In this topical tragi-comedy Macbeth meets Ubu, as Mrs Macbeth, already first minister of Scotland, sets her sights on a newly crowned royal visitor. Will fair be foul or foul fair? Politics and parody meet puns and pandemonium in this satirical and sweary re-telling. A raucous comedy for everyone from Shakespearian novices to seasoned thespians. ‘Wonderfully chaotic’ (FringeReview.co.uk).

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