Treasury 1860’s front bar provides an intimate scene for our audience with the Bard. Will Shakespeare comes alive for an hour to discuss his career, the highs and lows of life, and the seemingly immortal question of whether he wrote his plays.
Your Bard deals in genius wordplay, Shakespearean in-jokes, and general theatrical joy. This is not a play (let alone a play within a play) – this is something quite different. Gone is the fourth wall and other expected elements of theatre and instead we have a real and true audience with Mr Shakespeare.
We are taken through his career, lost years, and emergence as a playwright. Dealing with mystery and questions as this performance does, it is only fitting that once we have some answers, we are provided only with questions. Did William Shakespeare write his own plays? Of course. That was always what I was taught by the most passionate lovers of Shakespeare I’ve known and an answer given from the performance’s start to its end. That’s not an end to proceedings, though. It’s merely a beginning, as much more fascinating questions are raised throughout.
The show is truly a thorough success. It’s true that those who already have a love of Shakespeare will probably get more out of it, but there is still plenty to enjoy for someone still new to the worlds of William Shakespeare. The fact that the show is able to work on so many levels, according to the audience member’s familiarity with the immortal Bard, is a testament to the absolute success of the performance.
For someone already familiar with Shakespeare, this is unmissable theatre. For someone new to Shakespeare, this is still sure to be an enjoyable, and even educational play.
It’s hard to define the performance by traditional standards as it feels so natural and perfected by performer Nicholas Collett that it’s easy to suspend all disbelief and simply enjoy your audience with the Bard.
In character, Collett takes you through Shakespeare’s career, noting such famed plays as Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and Mac- sorry, the Scottish Play. He also takes you through Shakespeare’s life, such as his marriage to Anne Hathaway, the loss of his son Hamnet, and into his final few years.
It’s an excellent show, played to perfection, and there’s not really any other show that allows you to shake the hand of Shakespeare as he pops by the bar for a quick beer.
Words by Liam McNally
Four and a half stars.
Your Bard is playing at Treasury 1860 on February 27-March 1, and March 3 & 4. It is also at Rastelli at Stirling Fringe March 11 & 12. Tickets available here.