The Shakespeare Show Or; How an Illiterate Son of a Glover Became the Greatest Playwright in the World at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

The Shakespeare Show Or; How an Illiterate Son of a Glover Became the Greatest Playwright in the World

Rutherford School (8620 91 street) August 13 – 23
More information: monstertheatre.com


Photo Credit: Jim Travis with Graphic Design by Kurt Firla Featuring Ryan Gladstone and Tara Travis

Photo Credit: Jim Travis with Graphic Design by Kurt Firla
Featuring Ryan Gladstone and Tara Travis

An interview with Ryan Gladstone.

Describe your show in five words.

Hilarious take on the authorship debate (I can’t count)

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

What if Shakespeare didn’t actually write the plays? But what if he got all the credit? And what if the fame went to his head? Based on the greatest theatrical debate of all time, this tongue in cheek look at the authorship debate pits a tragical Earl of Oxford against a comedic Shakespeare with dramatic results.

Why did you want to bring back your 2008 hit to the 2015 Fringe?

We have actually been touring this show quite a bit since we originally premiered it in 2008. It’s one of the funnest shows in the Monster Theatre canon to perform and we just want to share it with people.

What was the impetus for investigating ‘the greatest theatrical debate of all time’ – whether William Shakespeare actually penned the works attributed to his name?

It is actually based loosely on a film about the Hollywood blacklist, about a group of blacklisted screenwriters who decided they needed some idiot to be a front for their writings. They find Woody Allen, a deli clerk, and hilarity ensues. I simply reapplied this to the authorship debate.

The Shakespeare Show Or; How an Illiterate Son of a Glover Became the Greatest Playwright in the World involves two actors playing 40 characters. Who are your favourite characters to play, and why?

Oxford’s wife and her friend Meredith are definitely our favourites. They are a little bit saucy, and they get to be dirty, which is always fun.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Reviews often talk about the idea that the play is equally enjoyable whether you are a Shakespeare scholar or someone who has never seen or read a Shakespeare play. It also makes a lasting impact on audiences. We just received this message on our Facebook page:

“I was so excited to read that The Shakespeare Show is coming back to the Edmonton Fringe Festival that I accidentally hit my husband with my waving, excited, arms. Despite my accidental spousal abuse, he is also now excited to see the show (or else). YAY!”

That’s a seven-year memory! We’re impressed.

The 34th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 13 – 23. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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