Death by Shakespeare (2023), theSpace @ Niddry Street, Review

A white and blue lit backdrop highlights the outline of performers in lines, arms reaching up, from the show Death by Shakesepeare
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Hurly Burly
William Shakespeare (playwright); Hurly Burly (additional text/creation)
Hurly Burly
Running time

Performed in the round, Death by Shakespeare is, as the name suggests, a look at several of Shakespeare’s best known death scenes. Considering how many people die in the Bard’s plays, there are many to choose from but those looked at here – including scenes from Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Hamlet – are performed with commitment by the large cast of performers. The premise of sharing tales of deaths in Shakespeare is a good one to link the pieces, although the overall piece seems surprisingly light in story. 

Moving around the stage, as well as using the wings across the corners, the cast move in detailed and intricately choreographed actions around the space. The choreography is extensive and clearly defined, with the young actors working very well in moving on the beat, and in unison to the Shakespearean text, using the power of chorus. There is also vocal resonance and impact when the actors speak as one, with their feet stomping in time, creating an atmosphere of being in the midst of a battle.

Because of the stylised precision of the on-stage movement, it feels like there is less capacity for the actors to be reacting, instead at times becoming more presentational, limiting the capacity for moment-to-moment interactions between the actors, although the audience interactions are delightfully funny. This is a talented group of students who are all given a chance to perform and show their strengths.

Show Time: 14:15 (ended)

Ticket Prices: (ended)