Kids' Perspective- Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged

This week we taught a Critics Workshop at Renaissance College in Ma On Shan. The students were fabulous and showed a lot of enthusiasm for the arts. As part of the workshop, the kids attended a performance of ABA Productions' The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. We selected excerpts from their reviews of the play for publication on this site. We love encouraging a future generation of theatre critics.  If you want HKELD to come out to your school and help your students with their critical writing skills, contact us!



Overall, I just loved this play. It was enjoyable, fun and entertaining. I would like to recommend this show to those people who would just like to chill and laugh with their friends and families. It would be a great chance for you to learn about Shakespeare’s plays and enjoy the show.



As a theatre student, I hoped to broaden my knowledge about Shakespeare, but the production failed to do so. I found that the people who actually were familiar with the plays would find it more humorous.



At one point, when two people walked in late, the actors actually stopped to wait for them to sit down then made a couple jokes about them being late. I loved this because it always slightly irks me when people are late to performances and I know that a lot of actors hate it. However they were able to make it a light and funny thing to happen.



The Hamlet part of the play was fine, though I wasn’t much of a fan of the scenes where they started ‘fast-acting’ the ending of Hamlet. There was plenty of interaction with the audience during those scenes but during parts the lines spoken weren’t that clear. It was unclear if it was trying to add a sense of comedy or was it just for fun.



I greatly commend this show. Personally not being a fan of Traditional Shakespearean Theatre I found this modernized, uproarious version extremely enlightening and diverse.



The staging was fine but I wasn’t a huge fan of the costumes. There were wigs and dresses that were falling off and sometimes it just looks very messy when they didn’t have enough time to change crops. Also, sometimes the characters are difficult to tell who is who when the costumes are not right and when they’re using the same people for all the characters.



On the contrary, in some parts of the play, it seemed to me that they were trying a little too hard to get the audience to laugh and this reflected to me as being forceful. Forceful in the sense that they were trying too hard to make the audience laugh, and this was shown when they were overusing jokes that had some sexual reference in them to make the audience laugh. It was funny when they mentioned it here and there, but when the play progresses, in some parts it was just too much and was overused.



In conclusion, this play did have some merits such as great comedic timing, but I felt that the dirty jokes were childish and overemphasized. It’s true that Shakespeare had many sexual lines in his plays, but even those lines were delivered with wit and used wordplay. Watching Complete Works is like eating cotton candy - briefly sweet, not much substance in the first place, and you’re left with an empty feeling afterwards.