A theatre production that ends with the actors giving the front row a plastic sheet because they are in the “splash zone” is not your typical Fringe experience, but this production of 43 and a 1/2: The Greatest Deaths of Shakespeare’s Tragedies is not to be missed.
There is no water stage the audience needs to be protected from, but my goodness there is a lot of blood. The cast tears through countless Shakespeare tragedies and acts out all of the classic death scenes. Somehow they manage to make this show that combines so many tragedies into a comedy.
It is comedic in the sense that there are a few musical numbers to lighten the mood as well as a section of the pay performed as a puppet show. The cast also breaks a few times and goes into CSI mode and questions a few of the deaths, like how did Ophelia really die in Hamlet? They all make a good argument for murder, accident, and suicide. Alas, we may never know, so why not make a joke of it in the mean time?
The cast included five very sharp witted and committed actors (Jenna Berk, Ricardo Frederick Evans, Bess Kaye, Aubri O’Connor, and Danny Rovin). Under the direction Sun King Davis (who also created this piece) they all worked hard to make one of the best productions in this Festival.
Let’s let them have their pie, and eat it too.
Running time: 80 minutes, no intermission.
43 and a 1/2: The Greatest Deaths of Shakespeare’s Tragedies plays through July 27th at the Fort Fringe –Redrum – 612 L. Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For performances and tickets, visit their Capital Fringe Page.
2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ’43 and a ½: The Greatest Deaths of Shakespeare’s Tragedies’ by Emily Crockett and Sun King Davis