POLAND – If you like the Bard raucous, energetic and over the edge, then the Poland Players’ spring production of “The Compleat Works of Wlllm Shapespr Abridged” is right up your alley.

If one Shakespearen play is good, two would be better and wouldn’t all 36 be the best? That is the premise of “The Compleat Works,” which endeavors to present some part of Shakespeare’s many works in just 90 minutes, more or less.

The show is based on Shakespeare’s famous, and not so famous, plays – but there is a twist. They are all abbreviated versions of the shows and poke fun at Shakespeare, his plays and more modern circumstances.

The first act is actually 36 plays all rolled into one in surprising ways. They include “Romeo and Juliet,” “MacBeth,” “Titus Adronicus,” “Julius Caesar” and “Othello.” The second act is dedicated to “Hamlet.”

The production was made famous by The Reduced Shakespeare Company and played to packed houses in London before going on a worldwide tour.

The Poland Players will present their own spin on the show with madcap comedy, slapstick and verbal witticism.

Although the show was originally performed by three males, the Poland Players are incorporating a large cast. The added jokes and updated lines are compliments of the cast and especially director D’Arcy Robinson. Actors are often hesitant and a bit confused by some of Robinson’s requests; but after working through some embarrassment, they shine in scenes that run smoothly.

A word of caution: This play is not for the politically correct, the easily offended or the faint of heart. And some content may not be suitable for young children.

The show will be presented in the Dr. Robert Wall Theatre, 1457 Main St., at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 10, 11 and 12, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 13. Tickets are $5. Reservations may be made by calling 998-5400, extension 218.

– by Natasha M. Johnson


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