Reviewed by Flossie Waite
A co-production of Watch This Space (National Theatre of London) and Laitrum Teatre
Reviewed at Gala Theatre, Durham as part of TakeOff Festival
For ages 7+

Laitrum Teatre just made an ass out of me. Luckily, only a couple of people saw. The Catalonian company’s interactive installation is intimate, involving just three people at a time: two are cast as the viewers, and one as performer. All three wear headphones, but only those watching have any idea what’s going on – the audience hear a narration of a Shakespeare play, but the voice in my ears only told me which props to puppeteer, not why. I obligingly manoeuvred peanuts, artificial flowers and a coke bottle round the miniature stage, while the audience ate complimentary popcorn. It was only afterwards that I found out I had just performed an 8-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and that I had played the part of Bottom.


Micro-Shakespeare doesn’t just tackle the comedies – there are five box-theatres to choose from, covering Shakespeare’s most popular plays: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Being condensed from a few hours to a few minutes, and thrown into this new format, loosens up the plays’ relationship to the original texts, our own notions about Shakespearean performance, and the audience-performer dynamic. But more than any of that, it’s just very, very fun. To be honest, if the bard was still about, I reckon he’d quite like Macbeth performed with cutlery.

Children’s Theatre Reviews exists to help plug the gap in criticism and writing about theatre for young audiences. It is run entirely voluntarily, and needs support to continue covering and supporting the sector. For more information and to help give children’s theatre the voice it deserves, please visit our Patreon page.

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