William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)

In a festival saturated with comedy shows about Shakespeare, the Reduced Shakespeare Company continue to reign supreme as the undisputed masters at reimagining the Bard into hilarious entertainment. Their new show, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play equalled, and in many ways exceeded, the genius of their previous material.

This masterwork includes all the characters of his later works, entwined in hilarious and often surprising liaisons with one another

The premise is brilliant, with the Reduced Shakespeare Company stumbling upon the long lost 100-hour play of seventeen year-old William Shakespeare. This masterwork includes all the characters of his later works, entwined in hilarious and often surprising liaisons with one another. If you ever found yourself comparing Puck and Ariel, wondered what it would be like if Lady Macbeth was to end up with someone other than her husband, or day-dreamed about the merging of two of the greatest theatrical villains into one being, this show is for you. It is fun for all audiences, from those who paid only a little attention to the compulsory lessons on Romeo and Juliet at school, to the more seasoned Shakespearean scholar. Tropes from the plays and quotes are manipulated into a hilarious show that is certainly a laugh a line. 

As always with the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s work, the entire show is incredibly current, with popular culture references ranging from Disney to Brexit and everything in between, making the show entertaining for all ages. The verbal wit would appeal to any speaker of the English language.For a dynamic and side-splittingly funny show based around the work of one of the funniest playwrights ever to set quill to paper, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Folio is the best out there. 

The three actors (Reed Martin, Teddy Spencer and Austin Tichenor) are exceptionally charismatic, able to win the audience immediately and create a fun and gripping atmosphere. This particular audience, filling the enormous auditorium, seem to be of a similar consensus, as they laugh uproariously throughout the entire show. At the biggest theatre and comedy festival in the world, this should be up there on your list of must-see performances.

Reviews by Fiona Russell

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Fringe regulars and acclaimed stars of the West End stage, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, are back with another barnstormingly irreverent and breathtakingly hilarious show. In a nod to the Bard’s 400th anniversary, the bad boys of abridgement present this “new” play by the man himself, as discovered in a Leicester car park. Mercifully, it's been reduced from 100 hours to a zappy 80 minutes! Direct from its world premiere at the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library. ‘An absolute hoot of a bawdy comedy of errors!’ (BroadwayWorld.com). ‘A breathlessly irreverent and pun-filled romp!’ (Washington Post).