Now, this production comes highly recommended from those in the know – top physical comedy muckers Spymonkey are bringing their unique tribute to Shakespeare, Complete Deaths, to the Playhouse next month.
Promising to “scale the peaks of sublime poetry, and plumb the depths of darkest depravity”, the company commemorate the Bard in their own inimitable style, compacting every onstage Shakespearean death scene into one evening’s entertainment.
They explain: “There are 74 onstage deaths in the works of William Shakespeare – 75 if you count the black ill-favoured ﬂy killed in Titus Andronicus. They range from the Roman suicides in Julius Caesar to the death fall of Prince Arthur in King John; from the carnage at the end of Hamlet to snakes in a basket in Antony & Cleopatra; from Pyramus and Thisbe to young Macduff. There are countless stabbings, plenty of severed heads, some poisonings, two mobbings and a smothering. Enorbarbus just sits in a ditch and dies from grief. And then there’s the pie that Titus serves the Queen of the Goths. Spymonkey will perform them all – sometimes lingeringly, sometimes messily, sometimes movingly, sometimes musically, always hysterically.”
Spymonkey are based in Brighton and comprise a core creative ensemble of ﬁve lead artists: artistic directors Toby Park, Petra Massey and Aitor Basauri, and associate artist Stephan Kreiss and designer Lucy Bradridge. No strangers to Liverpool, they have worked with city performers up here including Spike Theatre. They “have been making sublimely hilarious and deeply ridiculous theatre since 1998”, including their last show Oedipussy, directed by Emma Rice (the new AD of the Globe, no less), which visited Liverpool in 2012. That was, admittedly, not MADEUP’s cup of tea, but the word on the street is Complete Deaths is not one to miss. It’s on at the Playhouse on May 20 and 21.