As a reviewer, I get to see major theatre productions including many starring well-known actors, but it’s equally important to me to see and support amateur productions.
Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew at C Chambers Street (Venue 34) is a production by Dramawise and Sky Blue Theatre, performed by 8 young people who are all aged between 14 and 16 years old.
Performing Shakespeare can be daunting for actors of any age or experience, but these teenagers brought this play vividly to life. They played their parts very convincingly, giving great comic performances and obviously thoroughly enjoying themselves at the same time.
The play had some interesting interpretations, including a slow motion sequence and some parts which were verging on slapstick, but they all worked surprisingly well and added to the overall performance, which I enjoyed very much.
I spoke to Frances Brownlie of Dramawise after the show, who told me a bit more about the drama group which is based in Cambridge. They take students from the age of 5, and meet for three hours once a week, coming to Edinburgh Fringe every second year to put on a show. Many of her students have gone on to be professional actors and, seeing the standard of the performances today, this comes as no surprise.
Review by Lisa Sibbald