The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare, Take Thou That

The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare
Presented in English
Assembly George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
August 4-18, 2016

Company: Take Thou That
Written by Toby Hulse
Directed by Toby Hulse and Hannah Drake
Performed by students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (Chris Jenks, Laura Soper, Eleanor House, Georgia Frost, Euan Shanahan, and Rudolphe Wesley)                              

“The life, the times and every single play - all in just one hour! Specially created to mark the four hundredth anniversary of his death, The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare is a glorious celebration of the work of the world's greatest playwright. Expect silly sketches, toe-tapping songs, daft dance routines and extracts from all the famous and some less well-known plays. This show is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare and to the Tudor England that gave birth to his writing. Those familiar with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School's tours of Shakespeare to young audiences will recognise our trademark mix of crystal clear storytelling, live music and inventive staging, bringing new life and understanding to the beauty and power of Shakespeare's verse.”--description from company website.  

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Cast Interview:
Excerpt from Fringe Biscuit:
"What’s one thing that you want both kids and adults to take away from the show when they go home?"

Georgia: "Because we have 50/50 boys and girls, and the girls are playing big silly characters as much as the boys are playing big silly characters, I think what I would like people to take away is just that theatre is accessible for all, and for kids to just go for it and be silly, and, for girls, don’t have to feel that you have to fit into stereotypes. You can pull silly faces and people find it funny. You can play Hamlet. We don’t have any boundaries of gender in it, and I think it’s really good for kids to see that and go, “oh that’s cool, they’re all being weird, and they’re all playing with swords,” that’s what I’d like."

Selected Reviews:
Broadway Baby review (4 Stars): "Fun for parents and children alike, The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare is a brilliant introduction to Shakespeare: the man and his plays. Cleverly structured around the ‘seven ages of man’ from As You Like It, it entertainingly informs the audience about Shakespeare’s own life, in a dynamic and varied way that is reminiscent of BBC’s Horrible Histories."

The Scotsman review (4 Stars): "The energetic young performers of Take That Thou are clearly on a mission to convince the world, and children in particular, that Shakespeare is in no way boring."

Fringe Review (Highly Recommended): "Another absolute gem from Take Thou That as they cover both Shakespeare’s life and his thirty seven plays at breakneck speed. Words, music and physical theatre, each of the highest quality."

The Stage review (2 Stars): "While it bursts with energy, it's pretty light on fresh ideas."

Funding and Sponsorship:
Partly crowdfunded