Get a comedy crash course in all 37 of Shakespeare's plays
Did you ever find your attention drifting during those English literature lessons? Feel the need to brush up on Shakespeare’s classics? This month you can get a crash course in all 37 of the Bard’s plays with The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) – just don’t expect to be able to sit an exam afterwards.
The show sees comedy trio Matt Addis, Peter Brooke and John Payton cram everything from As You Like It to All’s Well That Ends Well into 97 madcap minutes – including a rap version of Othello and a performance of Hamlet delivered in just 30 seconds. Backwards.
Here’s our own condensed lesson in all things Shakespearean. Behold, the What’s On Idiot’s Guide To William Shakespeare…
Ultimate bad guy: Iago
From Richard III to Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare’s canon is filled with dastardly characters, but perhaps none as sinister as Iago. This sneaky traitor portrays himself as Othello’s BFF while secretly ruining his relationship and plotting his demise.
Hottest couple: Romeo and Juliet
Play: Romeo And Juliet
OK, we’ll admit it doesn’t end well – but when Shakespeare came up with the tale of these star-crossed lovers from two rival families, he created what is still literature’s most iconic love story five centuries on.
Best insult: “More of your conversation would infect my brain”
Ouch. There are plenty of ruder and lengthier insults to be found in Shakespeare’s plays, but we like the simplicity of this withering put-down from Menenius to Sicinius and Brutus.
Biggest tearjerker: The suicides of Romeo and Juliet
Play: Romeo And Juliet
Warning: plot spoiler ahead. It’s these two lovebirds again. Some of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays are his tragedies, and we reckon watching as a grief-stricken Romeo – wrongly convinced that Juliet is dead – swallows poison is the one most likely to have you weeping behind your programme.
Silliest word: Hugger-mugger
It may sound as though it has been lifted from the pages of a Harry Potter book, but the phrase hugger-mugger actually appears in Hamlet, and means secretly or clandestinely. Who knew?
November 21 to 26
Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah.
Nov 21 to 26, 8pm, Nov 25 and 26 11am