Spymonkey’s The Complete Deaths @ Contact Theatre
‘We inject irony and embrace modernity’ – Spymonkey, The Complete Deaths.
From Macbeth’s tragic end to the quick killings-off of minor characters, Spymonkey perform every onstage death from Shakespeare’s plays. With the countdown starting at 75, Spymonkey do it all: from the gruesome to the ridiculous. There are sword fights, a smothering, gunshots, and plenty of disembodiment. If you can imagine it, they do it.
The setting initiates a sense of death: the morgue-like plastic drapes which surround the stage make the audience aware that this will be a space full of slaughter. It plays on the audience’s sense of horror in the most bizarre and disturbing way, exposing them to a world of transgression. One should expect the unexpected. This is pure dark comedy, soaked in eccentricity, something totally unique.
The four “seriously, outrageously, cleverly funny clowns” (Time Magazine) may shock you, disturb you, even repulse you, but will always make you laugh. It’s an experience to say the least. The actors work to identify and interact with the audience, making the experience all the more peculiar. The audience are plunged into a hysterically bizarre world, where the familiar quickly becomes the unfamiliar. It is a brilliantly strange contemporary take on Shakespeare’s plays.
The Complete Deaths strips down Shakespeare’s complex plots to their absolute simplest forms. You do not need to be a Shakespeare fanatic to enjoy it: Spymonkey have modernized classic Shakespearean plays to make his work accessible to all. Directed by Tim Crouch, the performance explores how interpretative Shakespeare’s plays can be. It is a play which has everything. An utterly enjoyable experience, not to be missed.