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The School of Night
Published on Tuesday, 17 July 2012
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preview

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
Theatre
2-14, 16-26 Aug, 3:05pm-4:15pm

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

Think of an improv show, and you’ll probably think of madcap comedy from a gaggle of chirpy twenty-somethings.  What The School Of Night do is rather different, but equally entertaining – and, if you’re the right kind of person, hugely rewarding too.  Using actors from the hit improv musical The Showstoppers, the task they set themselves is no less than this: every day, they improvise a lost work of Shakespeare.

It’s a rare kind of comedy, but it’s comedy none the less.  You can expect a lot of “bawdy” – Shakespearean rude bits – and a few arch digs at just how implausible some of the Bard’s plots really are.  When we reviewed School Of Night at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, we were treated to the tale of a wayward young prince, led astray by his colleagues and banished to a wasteland… a perfectly credible addition to the Folio, if you disregard the fact that the wasteland was Antarctica.

There is, perhaps, a touch of elitism about the concept; the whole thing’s targeted firmly at those who like their humour ostentatiously intellectual, like an obscure panel game on BBC4.  But it is a remarkable feat of the mind, and there’s a special sense of wonder as the on-the-fly soliloquies emerge, in perfect iambic pentameter.  So if you know your way around a sonnet, look no further: there’s educated entertainment waiting at the School of Night.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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