Whoever thinks Shakespeare is not for everyone needs to get a ticket to Battle of the Bastards. A play that is a play on King Lear, this is a unique and refreshing theatrical piece, particularly in a sea of stand up comedy shows.
Written and performed by David Ladderman, this hour-long play takes one of Shakespeare’s classics and gives it a more contemporary and comical feel. At its core, Battle of the Bastards, as David explains to us, is essentially about three things: three acts of bastardy, three essential characters and three letters.
With just a bare stage and minimal humble props at his disposal, David skilfully brings to life the world within King Lear. The Fourth Wall is torn down as he seamlessly goes in and out of character throughout the show; keeping us abreast with the key plot points and regularly checking in with quick recaps to make sure everyone is still on the journey with him.
There are also opportunities where the tables turn and audience members are invited to participate and get involved in the action – including an elaborate fight scene where you even get to cast your co-star. David’s humor, charisma and affable nature make this interactive element of the show incredibly engaging and particularly fun to watch.
Battle of the Bastards is an enjoyable, fast-paced and highly energetic tragi-comedy and is Shakespeare at its most accessible. David Ladderman is an excellent writer, a talented performer and just a fantastic entertainer – a triple threat. Recommended for both Shakespeare fans and the literary novice.
The Whimsical Banana rates Battle of the Bastards: 4/5 bananas!
Battle of the Bastards has finished its run at The Basement in Auckland but begins its Wellington season from May 15th at the BATS Theatre. Four shows only so don’t delay – click here for tickets.