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Read: A Bard’s Tale isn’t quite Shakespeare

Each year, the Comedy Festival serves up a range of comedic styles, most of it is genuine stand-up, some of it is more theatrical in nature. This year A Bard’s Tale dished up a helping of improv.

Billed as ‘the play Shakespeare never wrote’ the work took inspiration from and paid homage to the Elizabethan prodigy.

While I enjoyed A Bard’s Tale, it wasn’t without problems.

The level of experience between the actors varied somewhat – one or two were very strong, but a few of the others clearly struggled with unscripted dialogue. Overall the show seemed to resemble a piece of theatre that hadn’t had enough rehearsal time.

Yes, yes… I can hear the cries now “but it’s improv so it isn’t supposed to be like scripted drama…” 

That’s true, but to work really well, actors in an improv show need to be able to bounce off one another competently and have an obvious chemistry and rapport. The show itself, while unscripted, still needs to have a structure of some kind.

A Bard’s Tale was fun and the performers gave it their all, but some of the cast seemed lost at times, forgot character names and seemed not to know how to respond occasionally to one another. 

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the show and there were some very clever moments. But to compare the work to Shakespeare seemed to stretch the premise a little too far.

A Bard’s Tale

8-12th May 2018

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