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Improvised Rubbish Shakespeare – The Incomplete Works

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first publication of Shakespeare’s plays, The Rubbish Shakespeare Company and Wing It Impro have joined forces to present The Incomplete Works, a totally improvised Shakespeare play.

This spontaneous, family-friendly show is bound to delight children and parents alike, and act as a fantastic introduction to Shakespeare and the world of impro!

When William Shakespeare fails to turn up with the script for his new play, his long-suffering cast are forced to Wing It and make it up, live, on the spot! After a few suggestions from the audience, we’re off! What follows next is a whirlwind of creative chaos, costume changes, bizarre characters, timeless Tudor dancing and an inventive use of household props. The show has been compared to Blackadder, Monty Python and The Mighty Boosh, and no wonder, it’s an onslaught of clowning, physical theatre, mime and storytelling, all accompanied by live music from award-winning musician Danny Bradley.

Rubbish Shakespeare are a celebrated theatre company who make Shakespeare accessible and fun for all, regardless of age or background. Returning back to Shakespeare North Playhouse once again, their Artistic Director, Lee Hithersay, says, “We’ve loved teaming up with Mark from Wing It – Impro, he’s like Master Splinter from The Turtles – he knows everything there is to know about spontaneous theatre! Due to popular demand, the show has grown and grown, and what was once four performers taking a punt on an idea for Shakespeare North Playhouse’s opening season, is now a full tour show with a rotating cast of twelve and a resident musician!”

The director of the piece, Mark Smith of Wing It – Impro, is no stranger to improv. Founder and former Artistic Director of Spike Theatre, Mark conceived the critically-acclaimed improv spectacle Hoof!“It’s been brilliant working with RubSC for this special 400th anniversary,” says Mark. “I thought creating a fully improvised Shakespeare show would be the biggest achievement, but what’s been even more rewarding is watching families experience spontaneous theatre together, for the first time, and opening their eyes to a new way of telling stories. The children really love the fact we’re playing, just like they do on the playground.”

No two shows are alike, adding real stakes, and real pathos; at the play’s end, an audience member playing King James decides the cast’s fate — with a jubilant thumbs up or a damning thumbs down! And herein lies the real thrill: being a part of the mammoth task of making up an entire Shakespeare play and celebrating with a multi-talented cast of fools when they pull it off. Spectators are players in this performance from curtain up, so don’t be surprised to find yourself in a full-blown dance off, or on stage for the final bows!

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