The concept of the school of night goes back many centuries. In Shakespeare’s time, a mix of nobles, writers and poets met in secret to discuss forbidden subjects. This modern troupe of five ‘Fraters’ perform many impressive feats of improvisation in verse.
For a warm up, as the audience is seated and preparing for the show, the Fraters request books. Lines are selected at random by audience members and the Fraters build humorous stories in verse.
The main event is the performance of a play in the style of Shakespeare and in iambic pentameter form. Suggestions as to the nature of the play and as the scenes in the play are being enacted come from the audience. It is uncanny how quickly their minds work as the bounce dialogue of each other. Naturally, being improvised theatre, each day the play will be different. The play I witnessed was a very funny amalgam of the themes and character types drawn from various plays. A modern twist was brought to one scene when audience members were asked for 20th century authors and the scene had to follow the style of that author.
A Shakespearian play has a good resolution and this was no exception. This was a most entertaining show with the audience fully entering into the spirit of recreating a form of theatre that first delighted audiences all those years ago.
Reviewed by Ben
Pleasance Courtyard: 33
2 to 26 August 2012 (not 15)
15.05 – 16.15
Fringe Programme Page Number: 316