Shakespeare Fight Club. Just really savour that title for a moment. Sounds like it’s gonna be awesome, right? Well, that wasn’t just a suspenseful intro- it really is!
The show plays out a bit like a panto; silly and exaggerated physical humour, fourth-wall smashing and some glorious hammy parts. The premise? Fight your way to Shakespearean glory. Adam McKenzie and Tegan Higginbotham (WATSON) delve in and out of Shakespeare’s best works (specifically, his best fight scenes) and mash them into an hour of high-energy humour, sharply physical and subtle both.
Although Liam Ryan and Jeff McKenzie play key roles (Ryan as creepy cockney, specifically, is a fine piece of discomforting physical humour), Higginbotham and Adam McKenzie work effortlessly well together- an excellent duo of skills. Higginbotham generally plays the ‘straight’ character in the narrative, bouncing off McKenzie’s dopiness and hyperactivity, though she best when at her most silly and animated.
Utilizing various props and scene-changing devices kept the plot chugging along quite nicely and the show did not lull for a moment; times when the laughs were low were merely times of emotional pull. The show did, indeed, have a heart to it, though it’s the climactic, nail-biting fight scene and McKenzie-Higginbotham banter that most fished the crowd in.
Words: Lisa Dib