The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

7 Mar


At least a decade ago, April invited me to go to go see a play with her. The play was called “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” I was over Shakespeare after reading his plays in high school. I was eventually convinced to tag along for the usual reasons: all of my friends were going, and April promised it would be more entertaining than reading Shakespeare in English class. (Although in retrospect, watching bread grow mold would have been more entertaining than revisiting my high school Shakespeare units.)

It totally changed how I felt about Shakespeare. It stepped away from the boring, over-acted, flowery-beyond-comprehension, Shakespeare of my twelfth-grade English lit class.

It was funny. It approached it’s subject with love and a whole lot of irreverence. Unlike my English teachers they didn’t shy away from the “sword and buckler” jokes, and they didn’t mention iambic pentameter even once. I liked it so much that I convinced my family to go with me to see it a second time. It was a turning point, after that I actually liked Shakespeare.

Fast forward a decade, minus a few weeks. I relapsed into a spell of Shakespeare obsession, and I began to wonder if I could ever see a live production tCWoWS(A) again. This led me to google, where I made a most miraculous and unexpected discovery.

It’s on YouTube.

Do yourself a favor and watch it, especially if you are like I was, and are Totally. Not. Interested. In. Shakespeare. If you aren’t willing to commit to the whole hour-and-a-half production, fast forward to 8:50 to see their hilarious 12 minute version of Romeo and Juliet.

May the Bard be ever in your favor.


P.S. If this has piqued your interest in Shakespeare, I can’t recommend highly enough Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare: The World As Stage. It’s the only thing I’ve read about Shakespeare that isn’t completely pretentious.


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