Breaking Bard

Date 13th October 2016
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Lytton Theatre
Type of Production Concert/musical
Director Dave Slade
Musical Director Tom Bayliss
Choreographer Louise Edwards


Author: Vicki Avery

In order to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare’s life, the Lytton Players put together a production of dance and song inspired by the great man himself.

The inspired programme not only included songs from well-known musicals but also familiar chart songs and musicians who took their inspiration from the plays themselves. Musicians such as B. A. Roberson, Dire Straits and Elton John all found their place in the concert along with songs from Shakespeare’s own plays.  

The atmosphere for the evening was casual and relaxed, with the performers in a variety of coloured shirts and black trousers. This allowed the audience to focus on the words and music and not be distracted by glitz and glamour.

The back projections were in keeping with the choice of music or dance and good use was made of the limited space on the Lytton stage.

On the evening I attended there were a number of items that made an impact on both the audience and myself.

Barry’s “Songs from Twelfth Night” and “Hamlet In 4 Minutes” both confirmed what a wordsmith Shakespeare was and John performing “The King Must Die” by Elton John based around Julius Caesar and Hamlet was excellent.

The rework of “Gee Officer Krupke” by the ladies was great fun as was the “Othello Rap” performed by Barry, John and Richard.

My favourite piece of the evening was “Philolmel” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream beautifully sung and accompanied by Craig and Louise. Here was an example of pure musicality where the voice and instrument blended perfectly together. If one closed one’s eyes the audience could imagine the leafy glade where Titania sang with her fairies. Well done to both of you.

This was an enjoyable evening, extremely well thought out and executed. Congratulations to you all.

Thank you for you generous hospitality