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Video Recommendation: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

While I’m on a Shakespeare kick, if any of you haven’t seen The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), it is well worth watching if you enjoy Vaudevillian humor. The three men of the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform all the works of Shakespeare in a single performance. That calls for some witty re-writes that are enjoyable for the less-knowledgable and have plenty of inside jokes for people familiar with a broader range of plays. In the more extended pieces, they do actually use many of the most famous lines, as well.

From a writing perspective, it is interesting to study how they took classic plays and reworked them together into a completely new piece. The buildup of the jokes and the layers of meaning make for interesting models for how a modern live performance can employ older subjects and styles.

And, of course, it’s nicely silly and extremely ridiculous if you like that sort of thing.

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