There’s always been a tightly-woven relationship between social behaviours, such as eating together and drinking booze, and performance. The ancient Greeks did it, The Elizabethans did it, the audiences of Epic theatre were doing it in the roaring 20’s, and we are still captivated by it today. It is a theatre devoid of pomp, silence and stillness – a theatre that lives in the same space as those who watch it.
That’s why I’ve always rallied behind pub theatre. I think theatre should hold a closer footing to the life and times of those who sit and watch it, and reflect the community in which it’s grown. There is something profound and personal about theatre that doesn’t live in a far-off west-end venue, and Fox & Chips‘ latest venture provides just that.
Down Eversholt street, at The Pack & Carriage, in between the bar stools, you will find a very adept and cheeky rendition of Shakespeare’s heartwarming comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.
This rendition of Much Ado is a jolly, drunken, sit-com of a show that makes good on Shakespeare’s original comic formula of lively physical humour, deftly performed witticisms and bawdy jiggishness. The text feels largely untouched and uncut, but very rarely gratuitous, even for a lover of the short and the snappy – like myself. Set against the backdrop of the 1984-85 Miner’s strike, Fox & Chips conjure a world of daft punks, coked-up 80’s businessmen, and thick-witted watchmen – the world as a whole is easy to sink into and supports the roguish, sexualised and fiercely independent characters of Shakespeare’s text.