Catch all 37 works of Shakespeare in one night

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” will take over the Hatbox Theatre stage for three weekends starting Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” will take over the Hatbox Theatre stage for three weekends starting Friday at 7:30 p.m.

You might think that seeing all 37 works of Shakespeare would take you weeks, probably even months.

But what if we told you that you could accomplish the feat in a lot less time. Would you be interested? Good because starting Friday at Hatbox Theatre, thanks to Cue Zero Theatre Company, you can catch all your favorite Shakespearean classics – in one night.

Actually, it will only take 97 minutes plus an intermission. That’s because the exact title of the play is the Complete works of William Shakespeare (abridged), so instead of watching a complete version of each play, audience members will get a quick hit from each one. Some of the more famous works, like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth get a little more attention in the play, but it’s a fast paced romp through all 37.

“A lot of them aren’t true classical interpretations,” said Dan Pelletier, director and producer of the play and founder of Cue Zero. “It takes you a minute to recognize the ridiculousness of what you’re watching.”

The production includes just three actors – Mike Perry, Ryan Clark and Spencer Costigan – so it’s safe to say those three will be pretty busy over the course of those 97 minutes.

“You have to get it just right to make the jokes land,” Pelletier said.

The play was originally created in 1987 and was then updated in 2007, which is the one Cue Zero will be performing.

As you can probably tell, it will be a ball of energy production that will keep you on your toes.

“There’s a lot going on.” Pelletier said.

The actors will step in and out of characters, make many costume changes and even act under their own names at times.

“They bring a lot of their real personalities to the stage,” Pelletier said. “It’s a lot of costumes and props.”

There will be a lot of humor as well, and you have to keep up in order to get all the jokes. But even if you aren’t familiar with all of Shakespeare’s work, this won’t be like sitting through a five act performance of Romeo and Juliet.

“You don’t have to know all of Shakespeare to enjoy the play,” Pelletier said.

There’s even quite a bit of reference to pop culture, which Pelletier was able to update from when it was written in 2007.

The group has been rehearsing since the middle of October, using space at Kimball-Jenkins Estate and of course, Hatbox.

Pelletier said that Hatbox is the perfect place for this production because it’s meant to be in an intimate setting where the actors can play off the audience.

The production will run for three consecutive weekends, starting with Friday’s opening night performance at 7:30 p.m.

Shows will also be Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Jan. 22.

For a complete list of show times and to purchase tickets, visit hatboxnh.com.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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