Youth and Will: a Portrait of Shakespeare's young characters... and Us Review

Edinburgh Festival review
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Zikit Theatre Company
Dori Engel (Director, Writer), Orna Salinger (Writer), Natalie Fainstein (Writer)
Dori Engel, Orna Salinger, Natalie Fainstein, Tamarac Sidi (Musician)
Running time

This piece of work is a reflection of the works of Shakespeare in the lives and experiences of young people. It exams the transitions and challenges that life gives to the young adult in their development and uses the words of the Bard to explore this, or it tries to.

At the opening the fourth wall is smashed and the actors explain and talk to us directly about their problems and issues in life and love. They then draw from the plays of Shakespeare to illustrate their predicaments or sorrows, the fourth wall then returning. The piece is much more alive when we hear the personal stories and problems of the people in front of us. It frequently deteriorates as soon as they launch into a soliloquy. We are wrenched from a personal interaction between us and the actor to a passive observational role of a scene or speech.

Some of the segues are smooth, some quite clumsy and some of the Shakespearian speeches tangental rather than reflective of the stories of the individuals. Hamlet's 'To be or not to be - ' comes out at one point and seems wholly irrelevant, and I got the uneasy feeling as the piece developed that in some places the personal narratives were merely an excuse to pump out some of Shakespeare's 'best bits'. That of course may not be true but that is how it started to feel.

Earnest, is how this piece of work struck me but not particularly effective and rather low key in it's staging and delivery.

Show times 6 to the 10 August, 12:00 (12:50)

Ticket prices £7.50 - £8.50