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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Comedy > Performance Arts > Shakespeare > The Reduced Shakespeare Company

The Reduced Shakespeare Company


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Main Program: B



Shakespeare is often very hard for people to grasp or find entry into, but if you are a big fan or no fan, you might want to see The Reduced Shakespeare Company (2001) in action on this fun DVD from Acorn Media.  Though they give away every plot point and secret from all the work they “abridge” for the entertainment of their audiences.  This includes Romeo & Juliet, Titus Andronicus, Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra, Hamlet and many others.


Though absurd, it is not a duplicate of something Monty Python, the Christopher Guest crew or anyone else is doing.  Some of this was shown on PBS, but after watching it, I can imagine what public television had to cut out.  With that said, the trio of Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor have amazing energy and enthusiasm about the great literary works.  As a matter of fact, it opens up a new window on the work, which is impressive indeed.


The 1.33 X 1 images are taped and the mian program looks fine for a recent taping, though the first performance is a bit more worn looking.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 offers simple stereo on the main program and monophonic sound for the first taping in the extras.  Extras include 17:37 of taped footage of the group’s first public stage performance, text on the three members and The Bard, a fun quiz and an “all things reduced” list of other RSC materials.  This might not sound fun, but it is, so check it out when you can.  The more Shakespeare you bring with you, the funnier it gets.  If you are going with The Bard long term, this will have much rewatchability.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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