Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** The joke's a little overdone, but only a little

Dov Weinstein presents a 33-minute version of Shakespeare performed on a table-top by one-inch-high plastic ninja figures. Honestly.

It's one of those bizarro ideas that you feel you ought to indulge because they're in the spirit of Edinburgh. Weinstein, clad in black and black-gloved, moves the figures around with magnets beneath the table, or on wire rods, or just by hand, while reciting an intelligently cut version of the script into a headset microphone. Oh, and strictly speaking, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth aren't actually played by ninjas, but by slightly larger figures with big round smiley heads.

For the first five or ten minutes it's engrossing and amusing. A messenger says, "But I am faint," and Weinstein peremptorily knocks the figure over; atmospheric noises are created by his making wind sounds into his microphone. After a while, though, the pay-offs grow less frequent as we become accustomed to the style of presentation. We end up, disconcertingly, judging it as a piece of theatre rather than a prolonged conceptual gag. By those standards, it's an adequate enough minor Fringe show.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

Return to index of reviews for the year 2002

Return to master reviews index

Return to main theatre page

Return to Shutters homepage