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
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