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Bard to the Bone at the Old Fitz - Review

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by Emily Saint-Smith (subscribe)
Writer, theatre enthusiast and foodie. Proud Mum to Humphrey Bogart the Pug.
Lord, what fools these mortals be
It's a shame that there were only two performances of the Post-Haste Players' Bard to the Bone scheduled this month because this lively evening of improvised Shakespeare had the audience in stitches.

Bard to the Bone, Post Haste Players, Old Fitz, Shakespeare, Improv, Theatre, Comedy
Oliver Burton in Bard to the Bone
Performed at The Old Fitz in Woolloomooloo, the basic premise of Bard to the Bone was to create a brand new Shakespearean play live on stage, based on a suggestion from the audience. This is impro at a whole other level!

On the evening of ANZAC Day 2016, the all-male troupe performed to a full-house, eager for a laugh. The crowd was not disappointed. All the performers responded swiftly to the unfolding story – in this case, an 'ill-tempered' island upon which a curse had been laid by the King of the Ocean. This is a well-practised troupe, who bounce off one-another effortlessly.

Audience participation was, of course, encouraged, and it was wonderful to see one of the actors engage with an audience member who 'took offense' at being showered in unwanted food (imaginary of course). These are the encounters that make for a truly unique night out and an intimate space like The Old Fitz (seating around 60 people practically on top of the stage) makes them easy to come by. Being a Monday night during the current season at The Old Fitz, the Post-Haste Players had to make do with the pre-set props and furniture being used for another production. But this did not detract too much from the action – ultimately the performers were what drove the story forward.

Bard to the Bone, Post Haste Players, Old Fitz, Shakespeare, Improv, Theatre, Comedy
Michael Gregory and Oliver Burton
Accompanied by a nimble pianist/sound artist who added to the ambience, and reflexive lighting operator who managed to adapt quickly to the changing scenes, the players delivered a hilarious, if slightly meandering, performance.

As far as theatresports is concerned, the Post-Haste Players are by far one of the best groups I have seen. Not only are they tasked with the usual 'immediately create an entertaining theatrical experience from a single word or phrase' conundrum, but this lot has decided to do it in Elizabethan English!

The good news is that the Post-Haste Players will be back later this year with an as yet unnamed project which they assure us will be worth the wait. If their improvisational work is anything to go by, sign me up for tickets now!
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*Emily Saint-Smith was invited as a guest
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Why? Keep an eye out for the Post-Haste Players’ next outing
When: 8pm
Where: The Old Fitzroy Hotel, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011, Australia
Cost: $15
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