The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) 2013.

Image I was really excited when I got a pair of tickets to catch the Reduced Shakespeare Company live again, all thanks to City Nomads for being such wonderful people.

It was not my first time watching this theatre company perform this piece last night at the DBS Arts Centre, since I saw them back when I was still in secondary school. Even though that was ages ago, I still have a vague memory of myself laughing and cheering throughout the first show. I cannot recall any specific details but I know that I definitely enjoyed myself back then. Many of my classmates did too.

(Imagine an entire audience of kids in school uniform, laughing and giggling with friends.)

Usually, I do not watch a play twice (not really sure if it is because I do not want to watch a performance twice, or I simply cannot afford to pay for tickets the second time round), so I was wondering if my opinion of the show will change. After all, I am at least five years older than I was back then.

Will I lose interest in their jokes? Will I still laugh loudly at a funny moment? Can I still feel engaged in their performance?

Well, I am glad to say that I enjoyed their performance last night. And I still laughed loudly at most jokes.

Sure, some jokes were a hit-and-miss and simply did not work for me, but I still appreciated their sense of humour and comedic timing. The whole performance ranged from punny lines to silly costume changes to over dramatic reactions, so they engaged the entire audience with a spectrum of comedy styles. Personally, I enjoyed the variety and it definitely kept the performance fresh and entertaining. It also helped that each actor had a different characteristic to them to keep the dialogues done on stage interesting as well.

For example, actor Jeff Marlow was the scholar of the group and the most agreeable, while Tiger Reel was bluntly straightforward and always ready to embarrass himself just for laughs. Then you have Dan Saski, constantly fake vomiting and making pop culture references (and eventually spitting water on the front row audience, which I really enjoyed watching).

With the distinct characteristics, the actors use them to carry the piece forward and eventually earning the love of the audience. They definitely earned mine. I think they make a great team!

And despite having only a cast of three (which must be incredibly tiring with the running and movements), the energy was pretty good. Even though the energy may have dipped slightly in certain points, the actors picked it up really quickly and kept the audience interaction going so there was no point in the show where I found myself feeling bored.

Hmm. The only possible downside of the entire performance would be that a few prominent jokes made require prior knowledge on Shakespeare as well as general knowledge of the world’s history. So I definitely do not suggest walking into the performance with no information at all. I mean, you can go catch the performance without research or anything like that, but you may lose out on funny stuff occasionally. And you wouldn’t want to be left out on the joke while everyone else is laughing.

Anyway, having more knowledge is always a good thing so looking some stuff up wouldn’t hurt. Especially when it guarantees you an even better time!

So, I was feeling happy, nostalgic and smart by the end of the performance.

It was also interesting for me to realise how the way I view things have changed from way back and it makes me more aware of how I have grown. So that was nice too.

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