THEATER REVIEW: Shakespeare’s Complete Works at Bennington Performing Arts Center

THEATER REVIEW: Shakespeare’s Complete Works at Bennington Performing Arts Center

D. Mark Blank, Mike Cutler, and Chris Restino in a scene from “The Full Works

D. Mark Blank, Mike Cutler, and Chris Restino in a scene from “The Full Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” Photograph Kate Whitehall

The Comprehensive Will work of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Bennington Group Theater at Bennington Undertaking Arts Centre
Created by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jesse Winfield
Directed by Todd Hjelt

“Tight-ass Androgynous”

Any 3 actors who get collectively to do this outrageous perform have to be ridiculous. It is a tour-de-power, a non-cease comedy thriller about William Shakespeare and his performs. In just a bit in excess of 90 minutes, in addition an intermission, they dissect, venture, and mirror on the Bard of Avon’s output (12 tragedies, 15 comedies, 11 histories) and some 154 sonnets. It’s a enjoyment to know that Will S. didn’t stay very long ample to create too much more, or this demonstrate would retain us laughing for hours. It normally takes talent, nerve, and a contact of anxiousness to carry out this in entrance of an audience and, by the way, anywhere you sit in the theater at the Bennington Accomplishing Arts Heart, you will participate in a job in this mini extravaganza as perfectly, so really don’t say you weren’t warned.

Less than the incisive way of Todd Hjelt, D. Mark Blank, Mike Cutler, and Chris Restino little by little mix into a single soul. They merge as a great deal from the pace of the engage in as from the writing of the popular author whose get the job done is extolled in the textual content of the piece. We find out some items we should not know about Will S.’s significantly less renowned memoir, “Mein Kampf,” for illustration. We delve into the thoughts of Hamlet’s girlfriend’s deep psychological condition when the Prince suggests a job modify for her. There is all the requisite sword battling, wrestling, and arras perform. And when, just in advance of intermission, we study there is only a single participate in still left to go, and stress ensues in the business of players, we choose a break and soon discover that the closing participate in may possibly engross us for the rest of our lives.

A single picture provides only a slight sense of what the present gives us. By the conclusion of the to start with act the stage is loaded with costume items and props, and the mess appears to be symbolic following so several stories and characters have been uncovered to the vivid phase lights of scrutiny. It looks to be way too humorous and tragic at the exact time. As for the gender-bending and blending, bear in mind that Shakespeare’s time all the actors had been adult males.

This is the eighth time I have viewed a production of this play and the exact point comes about to me every single time (and I consider I’m a perceptive theatergoer). For as many roles as each just one plays, they start to blend in mysterious approaches. I are not able to inform you who did what but I can remark a bit on the roles and how they ended up sent each actor can pluck the remarks out about their individual supply and use them that way for their resumes.

Romeo was charming and suave Juliet was girlish and correctly juvenile. Polonius was hysterical and Laertes was appropriately self-possessed. Gertrude died passionately though Ophelia played a drowning scene with each pathos and hilarity. The witches held their minute in singularity and Horatio displayed youthful wisdom in his whole possibility. There was not a solitary character in this play not perfectly wrought by its actor.

Todd Hjelt, the director of this epic, has experienced 15 many years of knowledge with the script and that exhibits in his pretty pointed staging. I doubt it will be doable to find greater built staging of this absurd and delightful perform. The lights by David V. Groupé adds a extremely specialist edge to the participate in, and the uncredited costume style and prop creations are sometimes as funny as the guys sporting and wielding them. Soon after 7 past exposures to this enjoy, I was not positive I’d appreciate it yet again, but as a superior participate in typically does, this creation stunned me. On a chilly, chilly night time in mid-January, the trio of actors in this silliest of exhibits warmed my heart’s cockles — what ever they are — and furnished enjoyment where there was the moment only weather conditions-dread. You simply cannot ever check with for much more than that! Can you, Titus Andronicus?

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