The RSC – that’s the Reduced Shakespeare Company rather than the Royal variety – is out to plunder all the best jokes ever.
The company known for packing a lot into a little, most famously the entire (abridged) works of Shakespeare in a single performance, is hitting the road with The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).
That looks a tall order, even with that cheeky “(abridged)”, the qualification which follows all RSC promised epics.
Describing themselves as “the bad boys of abridgement”, the RSC hit the road with the show following a successful Edinburgh Festival Fringe residency last summer.
The show, written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, incorporates high brow and low brow comedy and spans the long laughter line stretching from Aristophanes to Charlie Chaplin and beyond – and all inside 70 minutes.
Past RSC shows have dealt with Shakespeare (obviously), the Bible and the world of sport, all deftly abridged.
This latest show, performed by an energetic trio, comes with a warning: “Side effects may include uncontrollable milking and painful running gags.”
Catch The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) at the Gala Theatre, Durham, on February 4, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, on February 5, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, on February 6 or Middlesbrough Theatre on February 12. Details on www.reducedshakespeare.com