x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

The Bard is cut down to size by Dubai Drama Group

This weekend, Dubai Drama Group will condense Shakespeare's 37 plays into two hours.

This weekend, an unlikely pairing of American football and a 16th-century playwright promises a hilarious night out at the theatre.

The critically acclaimed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), first introduced in 1987 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, will be directed by the Dubai-based comedian and actor Brent Jenkins from tomorrow until Saturday at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates.

The two-hour show, presented by Dubai Drama Group, summarises Shakespeare's 37 plays with an American football game based on the histories, a Shakespeare cooking show with a morbid twist and a 43-second version of Hamlet.

"Shakespeare is timeless and this performance really helps those who may feel slightly intimidated by his work - so really, it's also accidentally educational," says Jenkins, originally from Texas. "It's not dry, boring or long. The audience will have a really good time."

Three cast members tackle the famous plays, dressed in "Shakespearean shirts, puffy trousers" and black high-top basketball shoes. Props and unexpected costume changes are thrown in the mix.

Having first watched the play while in Texas, Jenkins has also starred in the production twice before.

"It's one of my favourites because it's a lot of fun and the actors make it enjoyable for the audience," he says. There is quite a bit of ad-libbing and crowd participation.

The play has been performed in a number of languages around the world and enjoyed a nine-year run at The Criterion Theatre in London's West End.

The play runs tomorrow, 7.30pm; Friday and Saturday, 4.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets cost Dh80 and are available at www.boxofficeme.com, at Ductac and on the door

melshoush@thenational.ae