From the creators of Bard to the Bone, last seen at a sold-out run at the Old Fitz Theatre, comes the next epic addition to the improvised Shakespeare canon,
“Improv,” or improvisation if you like, is a unique type of performing. It has a definite set of rules or principles which are used in the execution of the genre, and lends itself to comedy, which is the case in the production POST-HASTE HISTORIES.
The concept of the show is that it is built around a word chosen at random from a selection provided by the audience, taken from a dictionary of Shakespeare’s words. The word is written up on a notice board at the back of the stage, and the players have to make up an entire play, using the word as a basis for the plot.
The word chosen on the opening night was “Jerkin,” a sleeveless short jacket made of leather and worn by men around the 16th and 17th century. Shakespeare himself probably wore one or more Jerkins. You can only imagine the ‘one-liners’ which this word conjured up.
The story that followed doesn’t matter as much as the way it evolved, with every word and action made up as the play proceeded. In the hands of five of the most experienced exponents of the art, we were taken on a bawdy romp which could have been a plot from any of a number of the Bard’s plays.
Using the language of his time, the actors seamlessly took us along with them, making up line of dialogue along with each scene without displaying any hint of hesitation through the whole show.
It was fascinating to watch each actor play off the other, taking cues from each other. If we didn’t know otherwise, we could have sworn that they were performing from an established script, as the show flowed so well. The authentic set featuring Elizabethan furniture and costume designs added to the experience.
There are two different casts in the company, each playing on alternate nights. The show that I saw featured a cast comprising Atlas Adams, Oliver Burton, Ewan Campbell, Dan Cordeaux and Anna Le Her. For a nightly cast schedule visit – http://www.posthasteplayers.com
If you like a good belly laugh, then this show is definitely for you. But you might find yourself aching by the end of the show! Each night will be an entirely different show. Expect the un-expected.
The show also features improvised music and sound design from cabaret artist Bryce Halliday, who not only follows but propels the action. Even the lighting operator influences the direction of each play.
POST-HASTE HISTORIES is playing the Kings Cross Theatre, Level 2, Kings Cross Hotel, 244-248 William Street until August 20. Performance times Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 5 pm with 2 pm Saturday matinees on August 13 and 20.