Burnaby actor stars in a night of Shakespeare mayhem

Alchemy Theatre presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) starting March 4 at the Havana Theatre

A Burnaby actor is in the midst of the mayhem for a night featuring all of Shakespeare’s plays.

Yep, all of them. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is coming to the stage from March 4 to 14 at the Havana Theatre, courtesy of Alchemy Theatre.

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It features three actors weaving their way through all 37 of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies in 97 minutes. Burnaby’s Alyssa Hanson-Smith is one of them, alongside Andrew Lynch and Richard Wiens. It’s directed by Matthew Davenport.

“Alchemy’s (albeit tongue in cheek) New Year’s resolution was to perform all of Shakespeare’s complete works in one year, until we realized that there were 37 plays, 1,122 roles and another 154 sonnets. So we compromised and here we are, condensing all of them into one night with only three actors,” Davenport said in a press release. “But seriously, we love this show because part of our mission has always been to make Shakespeare accessible to everyone and easily understood. This show does all of that, and it makes us laugh. What more could one want in a night of theatre?”

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is the brainchild of Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, founding members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. It was first performed in 1987 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since become a favourite around the globe.

And even if you’ve seen it before, every show is different – actors are encouraged to improvise and update the script as they go. So Alchemy Theatre promises you can expect a bevy of pop-culture and contemporary references, from Sonic the Hedgehog to Justin Trudeau.

You can catch this local production from March 4 to 7 and March 11 to 14 at the Havana, 1212 Commercial Dr. Tickets are $20 (plus fees), available online at www.alchemytheatre.ca.


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