REVIEW: Shakespeare’s Long Lost Play (Abridged), Grand Opera House, York

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Performers Joseph Maudsley, Matthew Pearson and James Percy bounded onto the stage informing us that while trying to park their van nicknamed Titus Vandronicus in a car park in Leicester, they discovered a vast sheaf of papers in a hole ( near a pile of unimportant bones ), which turned out to be the long-lost first play written by one William Shakespeare, aged 17.

Believe that, you’d believe anything, but by the end of this wonderfully wacky, playful pastiche, these talented, enthusiastic and energetic thespians not only made you suspend your disbelief, but had you rolling in the aisles with laughter too.

We had tempests and twins, tempers and tantalising teasing about Walt Disney pinching his ideas from Shakespeare.

“Oh, we’ll Let It Go,” said Ariel as she remonstrated with Puck ( inspired idea to have them both as rivals in the first “long lost ” play), with fun and puns galore delighting the audience.

Costume supervisor Denis Blatchford is to be praised for his outstanding costumes; the cast were masters of the quick change, keeping us all on our toes- I particularly enjoyed the use of puppets too, when the Three Witches appeared.

Wonderful wordplay, alluring alliteration, and above all a marvellous mash up of Shakespeare’s classic characters, generating a new, entertaining story.