Assuming each show can be done in an hour and a half, watching all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays would take 54 hours. But in the time of one performance, the “Quick and Holey Shakespeare Company” can perform not only all of the standard works, but pay tribute to the the apocrypha and the sonnets as well.
Directed by pre-med and theatre student Jordan McMillan as his senior project, the show was performed with only three actors. Robbie X. Pierce, Justin Stockett and Joshua Michael French performed as themselves, a group of students informally presenting the plays. They played all of Shakespeare’s characters, using a dummy and audience members to occasionally fill in other parts.
The tragedies were presented very humorously. “Othello” was performed as a rap, while “Titus Androdicus” became a cooking show. The actors were consistently able to perform as a wide range of characters while retaining their own personal styles throughout. By the time “Troilus and Cressida” was performed as an interpretive dance with toy dinosaurs, the distinct personalities of each actor had become very endearing.
But the performance should really be named “The Complete Tragedies of Shakespeare with Commercial Breaks for the Comedies and Histories.” All sixteen comedies are performed very quickly as one story, as they arguably have the same plot anyway. In all fairness, the histories are more appropriately presented as one football game, as the audience is unlikely to be familiar with or care for all the details of the various kings.
The performance concluded with multiple renditions of “Hamlet.” A highlight was a Freudian analysis with audience participation, something that would be slightly different every night. The last performance of “Hamlet” was completed in less than a minute.