Shake, a delightfully irreverent take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, is one of the standout productions of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.
French company Eat A Crocodile give their version of the classic comedy a distinctly vaudeville feel, which is brilliantly suited to an intricate plot centred around mistaken identity, deception and the crazy things love makes us do. Throw in cross-dressing, a ventriloquist’s dummy and lots of wigs and you have ample scope for farce. The troupe take full advantage, clowning around, piling on the slapstick but never missing a beat in a sharp and polished performance.
Channelling Austin Powers, Dean Martin, 1940s Hollywood goddesses and Lou Reed among many others, with extra scenes that seem created purely for our enjoyment, this is an exuberantly engaging show. The underlying message about our capacity for self-deception is not lost, but frankly we’re having too good a time to care.
Words: Judy Diamond
Shake, Lyceum, Aug 11-13, times vary