Nicodemus Merriweather Presents Shakespeare
Festival, Friday 26 June, St Mary's Church
What were we going to see for the opening event of the SP Festival? We couldn't tell if it was going to be a lecture, a serious show or just a bit of fun at the Bard's expense, but it ended up as a bit of everything and we couldn't have enjoyed it more.
Nicodemus Merriweather, an imaginary actor in Shakespeare's London, recounted anecdotes about the theatre world , filled in the Elizabethan background for us and performed some well-known extracts from well-known plays, There were periods of drawn-out business that dragged a bit, but mainly the show ripped along with quick changes of hat, props and accent to enliven proceedings. My highlights were: one of the witch scenes from Macbeth performed with white mask and intriguing mime, and then a wheezy Sir John Falstaff, grand and self-pitying, majestic and pathetic.
This was a tour-de-force which was a surprising and satisfying start to the Festival.