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Theatre Review: The Complete World Of Sports (Abridged) - York Theatre Royal (then UK Tour) ✭✭✭✭

The Complete World Of Sports (Abridged)


York Theatre Royal (then UK Tour)

UK Premiere; Abridging Americans; Every(ish) sport under the sun/rain (delete as appropriate); Pacey and puntastic; Fast, furious, fun; Get yourself a ticket now!

Well there you have it; the reduced review for the UK premiere of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Complete World Of Sports (Abridged). Co-produced with York Theatre Royal, it begins in the North Yorkshire theatre before embarking on a national tour finishing up in London in time for some sporting event they have going on soon.

For those of you not so familiar with the work of this particular RSC or who want a fuller explanation, continue reading.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company, a group of abridging Americans, has been entertaining the theatre-going public for decades with their hysterical brand of Shakespeare, often reducing classics that take several houses to but a few, hectically paced minutes. Now they have turned their attentions away from the bard and over to Beckham (well sort of). 

Audiences are welcomed to a new event, the abridge-a-thon. A non-stop, joke fest celebrating the word of sports from the antics of cavemen up to the Neanderthals currently playing in leagues across the globe.  Every(ish) sport under the sun/rain (delete as appropriate) is covered in a show that weighs in at around 1 hour 50 mins including half time.

The talented trio of Reed Martin, Matt Rippy and Austin Tichenor give us a variety of characters, switching seamlessly from one to another, and non-stop laughs. Just beware, you don’t need to keep up with anything remotely resembling a plot (as there isn’t one) but you will need to be switched on to keep up with their rapid fire wit and rapier tongues – though you may need to use a couple of grey cells to understand how Spock and Obi-Wan Kenobi fit in to the proceedings. This game kicks off fast and keeps getting faster.

The journey “from then to now” is unrelentingly pacey and puntastic.  This could’ve easily fallen in to the category of a nice sketch idea that goes on for too long but steers well clear of this with inventive characters, an assortment of zany props and a whole load of audience interaction. Ever fancied being on stage with the RSC?  This could be your big chance!

For anyone who laments the death of variety, this will bring you renewed hope as there is every thing here: comedy, singing and a bit of box juggling. Is there anything more you could wish for? This is fast, furious fun!

The evening is over way to quickly, completing everything without the need for extra time, as the company make their way to the foyer to sign autographs (no doubt in shorthand) and the audiences are left breathless but happy. If you leave this production having not laughed then please ask a medical professional to check your pulse.

The Complete World Of Sports (Abridged) is a must-see, even for non-sports fans. It will be coming to a theatre near you over the coming months. All you have to do is get yourself a ticket now and enjoy the ride.

4 out of 5 stars ✭✭✭✭

Review by James Eaglesfield



Jun 13 - Jun 16YorkYork Theatre Royal
Box office: 01904 623568. Address: St. Leonard’s Place, York, YO1 7HD. BUY TICKETS
Jun 18BuxtonBuxton Opera House
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 0845 127 2190. Address: Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6XN. BUY TICKETS
Jun 19 - Jun 20ExeterNorthcott Theatre
Box office: 01392 493 493. Address: Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB. BUY TICKETS
Jun 21NewburyNewbury Corn Exchange
Time: 7:45pm. Box office: 01635 522733. Address: Market Place, Newbury, Berks RG14 5BD. BUY TICKETS
Jun 22 - Jun 23NottinghamNottingham Playhouse
Box office: 0115 941 9419. Address: Wellington Circus, Nottingham NG1 5AF. BUY TICKETS
Jun 25TruroHall for Cornwall
Time: 8:00pm. Box office: 01872 262466. Address: Back Quay, Truro TR1 2LL. BUY TICKETS
Jun 26 - Jun 28PooleThe Lighthouse
Box office: 0844 406 8666. Address: 21 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1UG. BUY TICKETS
Jun 29Tunbridge WellsTrinity Theatre
Time: 8:00pm. Box office: 01892 678 678. Address: Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, KENT TN1 1JP. BUY TICKETS
Jun 30PeterboroughKey Theatre
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01733 207239. Address: Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF. BUY TICKETS
Jul 02CanterburyMarlowe Theatre
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01227 787787. Address: The Friars, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2AS. BUY TICKETS
Jul 03NorwichNorwich Playhouse
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01603 598 598. Address: 42 – 58 St. George’s Street, Norwich, NR3 1AB. BUY TICKETS
Jul 04DerbyDerby Assembly Hall
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01332 255800. Address: Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby DE1 3AH. BUY TICKETS
Jul 05HerefordThe Courtyard
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01432 340555. Address: Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR. BUY TICKETS
Jul 06RhylPavilion Theatre
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01745 330 000. Address: East Parade, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 3AQ. BUY TICKETS
Jul 07BarnsleyBarnsley Civic
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01226 327000. Address: Hanson Street, Barnsley S70 2HZ. BUY TICKETS
Jul 08SalfordQuays Theatre at The Lowry
Time: 8:00pm. Box office: 0843 208 6000. Address: Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ. BUY TICKETS
Jul 10LichfieldLichfield Festival, The Garrick
Box office: 01543 412121. Address: Castle Dyke, Lichfield, WS13 6HR. BUY TICKETS
Jul 11BasingstokeThe Anvil
Time: 7:45pm. Box office: 01256 844244. Address: Churchill Way, Basingstoke RG21 7QR. BUY TICKETS
Jul 12CrawleyHawth Theatre
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01293 553636. Address: Hawth Avenue, Crawley RH10 6YZ. BUY TICKETS
Jul 13BedfordBedford Corn Exchange
Time: 8:00pm. Box office: 01234 269519. Address: St Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SL. BUY TICKETS
Jul 14TewkesburyRoses Theatre
Time: 7:30pm. Box office: 01684 295 074. Address: Sun Street, Tewkesbury, Glos GL20 5NX. BUY TICKETS
Jul 17 - Aug 25LondonArts Theatre
Box office: 020 7836 8463. Address: 6-7 Great Newport St, City of London WC2H 7JB. BUY TICKETS


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