A fringe stalwart, Shakespeare for Breakfast is, judging by the packed out room at 10am, clearly still a firm favourite with Edinburgh audiences. This year the company have reworked Taming of the Shrew to focus on the royal wedding and baby, cleverly fusing our nation's most current obsession with one of our most long lasting.
With recognisable characters well parodied, laughs a plenty, lovely combinations of modern and Shakespearean speech and some high energy, talented performers (most notably the role of Lucentio) there's much to recommend this show but, to be honest, it doesn't quite match up to previous years.
It lacks the audience interaction that usually makes it such an invigorating experience, some of the performances bordered on hyperactive with lots of unnecessary gurning and screeching while a number of initially amusing jokes were dragged out for far too long.
Described as a family show, one of the best things about these productions have been their accessibility and the opportunity for a shared theatrical experience, so I was disappointed to see the word 'slut' scrawled across Pippa Bianca's forehead before seeing her and Lucentio flick through a karmasutra style book and crawl under a table to noisily try it out. Though amusing, I doubt the majority of parents would consider these things to be child-friendly and, frankly, it seemed rather cheap and unnecessary to resort to such simple and overt sexual references.
- Lucy Danser
Shakespeare for Breakfast continues at C Venues - C at 10:00am until 26 August