Fans of William Shakespeare have no shortage of opportunities to see the Bard’s works performed on the London stage. This summer, for instance, the Globe alone is putting on star-studded productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and all three parts of Henry VI.
However, while this represents an impressive cross section of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and histories, not many visitors can claim they’ve seen all 37 of his plays performed during a brief stay at hotel accommodation in London.
That doesn’t mean this Herculean feat is impossible. The Reduced Shakespeare Company made a triumphant return to the West End this month and the troupe is famous for having reduced the Bard’s entire oeuvre to a slim 97 minutes – creating a truly unique, madcap comedy spectacle in the process.
Slim as the show may be, the original production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) ran for a record-breaking nine years at the Criterion Theatre.
It earned critical plaudits from publications like the New York Times, which called the company “pithier than Python”, and the Times, which described the performance as “stupendous, anchorless joy”.
This summer’s revival – which is hosted by the Leicester Square Theatre – is a specially revised version for 2013, so those who’ve seen the show in the past should find there’s plenty of freshly prepared material to enjoy.
Unfortunately, it won’t be sticking around for nearly as long as the previous incarnation, as it’s scheduled to wrap up on August 17th – so interested parties are advised to book their tickets as soon as they can.
Most performances begin at 7pm, though those wishing to attend earlier in the day have a number of 2:30pm and 4pm matinees to choose from. A full list of showtimes can be found on the Leicester Square Theatre website.
Adult tickets are available from £20, rising to £27.50 depending on whereabouts in the venue you’d like to sit.