Elsie and Norm's Macbeth
Sheringham Little Theatre
Shakespeare's sense of humour was pretty all-encompassing, but I'd be surprised if this impudent mocking of Macbeth had him laughing from his grave.
The comic tone of Broad Horizons' new touring production is set when Elsie (a lively performance from Judi Daykin) stands in her front room misreading the witches' speech. She is interrupted by Norm (the equally irrepressible Nigel King) shouting, 'Where's me teeth?' The couple, of Laburnum Avenue ('somewhere north of Watford!'), welcome the audience into their home for a bit of 'culture' - they got the playscript from the mobile library - and then fire off their own inimitable take on the Bard's tragedy.
So we get Banquo and son the cuddly toy pandas, a Macduff who resembles Sherlock Holmes, and Malcolm as errant schoolboy. A semi-crazed rock-chick witch makes potions in the microwave with HP sauce, while Lady Macbeth, in frumpy dressing gown, casts off her howling soft-toy puppy with the words: 'Out, damned Spot …'
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There are sparks of wacky wit and slapstick in John Christopher-Wood's two-hander, and director Rhett Davies keeps the octane level high, but for the most part the comedy is laboured, the really funny bits too few.
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