Shakespeare Untold – A Review


As you read that, I bet it sends shivers of fear down your spine. You may fear at the language or the memories of Year 10 English that come flooding back, reminding you of where your interest in Shakespeare came to a halt. Tom Giles and Sally Lofthouse both share my opinion that Shakespeare is supposed to be seen, and not read line by line in a classroom that was built in the 1960’s.

Despite people’s fears, we all know the story of Romeo and Juliet. But never like this. Writer and director, Harper Ray and Adam Sibbald, have created brilliant retellings of two of Shakespeare’s, possibly most complicated, plays.

We are first introduced to the hip, fashionable party planner, played by Sally Lofthouse. With a taste for Katy Perry and Twitter, she sets up this modern, yet timeless, act whilst telling the story of how Romeo and the beautiful Juliet fall in love. The interaction with the audience almost makes it feel like a stand-up comedy act, as she retells her events of stories. The dreaded pink broom becomes Old Capulet, whilst a red scarf turns into Romeo, Juliet and the Friar. A compelling and eye opening performance.

In contrast, the fool and hopelessly trapped Roman cook, played by Tom Giles, shows the comical imperialism of the Roman world of Titus Andronicus. As the audience, you are ‘prisoners’ and are attempting to make one of Titus’s special pie recipes. If you’ve read Titus you will know it can get very confusing, so many deaths so little time! But the cook makes everything clear, with a tea towel being the famous Titus, and various fruit and vegetables being the many characters. Witty, funny and well performed, you are sure to leave with a fairly big smile.

Perfect performances that really did break open the fear of Shakespeare. Alongside rumours of The Tempest, Midsummer Night’s Dream and many more Shakespeare retellings, this is definitely something to watch out for.


 Jack Wilkin


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