A collection of new short plays inspired by Shakespeare’s work takes place around Shoreditch, from pie shop to dingy cul-de-sac. Brought together by Rift and a host of collaborators, two sets of paths are available with five plays in each. The Hoxton Path takes in The Isle is Full of Noises, a film by James Soldan and Katie Lambert. It is based on the Tempest, telling a story of a mute who could only speak by recorded noises. Having met a new friend, he used the previously recorded voices to detrimental effects. The premise is interesting but need more work.
Community Payback by Boneyard Theatre takes place in a small park and is a Romeo and Juliet rap battle that is playful, amusing and good sting in the tale. Youaremine’s The Best Pies in London by Abi Zakarian is set in an east end pie shop with a more than unusual fulling and no less bloody than Titus Andronicus that it is based on. Three Loose Teeth by Backsbroke Theatre transfers Macbeth to the street where an encounter with a homeless man becomes too cosy and cynical.
Finally, Disnatured written by Sabrina Mafouz from Simmer Dim is King Lear transferred to a flat where a daughter recalling a story of the bailiff who came to collect a fine of her mother’s train fare, cruelly taking all the valuables from home. This is the best written of all with great lines dotted around and the excellent Pearl Mackie who has a clear voice and attitude playing Regan.
It is a mixed set of work and the guides who accompany the journey do a great job in filling in the gaps. The links are tenuous and based on Shakespeare having worked in Shoreditch. But the hint of familiarity helps to bind these plays together.