Taking to the stage with exuberance, Charlie Dupre begins by telling us we are here for a lecture, but after his first furious story it is obvious this is no traditional lecture. Dupre begins by imagining a rap battle between Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Here our lecturer sets the scene: interpreting Shakespeare in a modern method to a modern audience. The performer is honest enough to know that there are many differences between hip hop and the bard, but he is also informed and intelligent enough to highlight the similarities. It is these similarities that Dupre exploits, mainly the use of rhyme, performance and creativity.
Throughout the act we receive well crafted condensed versions of Shakespeare’s most famous work, including Hamlet, Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing. Dupre does not lose sight of his intentions and performs a version of Othello in the style of Eminem. He also returns to Marlowe again with an interpretation of Faust, where he takes on the character of Mephistopheles. This is brilliantly performed, where Dupre embodies the character and gives a funny and appropriate performance?
When Dupre engages the audience he does so with his likeable and engrossing personality. The audience definitely feels in safe hands and is with the performer every step of the way as he unleashes his stories.Dupre showcases his ability to improvise in rhyme, by taking a break from Shakespeare and asking the audience to give him three random words. Harlot, bouncy and epiphany are shouted out and Dupre instantly delivers a short poetic performance using these three words as a centre piece. This result is a fantastic poem that ensures that the audience warm to him more and shows that Dupre had more strings to his bow than just Shakespeare. The only problem here is that this segment is too short and would have benefited from a development into a larger piece in relation to the theme of the show.
What the performance lacks however is a greater degree of variety. Although the idea of modernising Shakespeare is a good one, it does become tiring for the duration of the show. Repetition let’s the performance down as Dupre relies too much on making the Shakespearean characters sound like cliched modern teenagers.
Where The Stories of Shaky P would really stand out would be in a school class room. Although it was joked at towards the start of the show, the content would work well if it was toned down and delivered to children as a lecture. This is in no way an insult and actually highlights the authenticity and professional approach that was apparent on stage.
4-25 (not 13 and 21) August