This was Shakespeare in a way I have never seen it before. I have had the privilege of seeing The Reduced Shakespeare Company perform, seen Shakespeare in a traditional proscenium arch theatre performed as the original script would suggest, at the breath taking Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and a performance influenced by Indian and Sri Lankan dance and martial arts. But this was again something new.
That is both the beauty of Shakespeare, but also the beauty of a company like Ripped Script. The script of As You Like it used was a stripped back and edited version, keeping the more well known passages and eliminating characters who were not needed to tell the main story. This kept the play speeding along smoothly and also made it easy to follow for those who do not see Shakespeare very often.
The characters were well developed and the 5 actors playing the central characters made the transition between each character they played seamlessly. The cast interacted well and seemed comfortable in each others presence.
Zion Community centre was a Methodist Church in it’s former life and now hosts a range of events. Giving the performance space a temporary and impromptu feel. Given that the characters enter with their costumes in suitcases, suited the performance.
The comedy was well drawn out of the script and it was a thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre, I would not hesitate to see more by Ripped Script. Especially more paired back Shakespeare, that still gives a sense of the mighty wit of the Bard and showed him as the skilled linguist he was.
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