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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

a Comedy
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield

COMPANY : Actors Theatre of Atlanta [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Actors Theatre of Atlanta [WEBSITE]
ID# 933

SHOWING : July 10, 2004 - August 28, 2004



Created in 1986 by three Americans with a desire to send up the short attention span of their countrymen, Complete Works has become the longest running comedy in London's West End. This romp through all 37 plays in 97 minutes is "a rabid riot of physical comedy and breakneck banter ... a triumph for classroom slackers of old and an excellent introduction of Shakespeare for the innocent."

In rotating rep with Three Days of Rain.

Cast Peter Bennett
Stage Manager Alicia Quirk
Daniel Steve Coulter
Jess Henson Keys
Adam Quint Von Canon
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Still Funny After All These Years
by Dedalus
Monday, July 26, 2004
I was first subjected to the “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” almost 10 years ago, finding it one of the funniest plays I’d ever seen. A combination of irreverent parody, slapstick hijinks, topical references, and non-vomitless theatre, this play pushes every comedic button imaginable – hi-brow and low. The published script is riddled with non-sequitur footnotes and other jokes. I have the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s audio tapes of their BBC radio shows from which most of this play was adapted, tapes I’ve listened to again and again and again.

Even bad productions of this play (and I’ve seen at least one bad production) are funny. Fortunately, Actor’s Theatre of Atlanta has (well, had) a good production on its hands. Steve Coulter, Henson Keys, and Quint VonCanon romp through this material with aplomb, plumbing the depths of broad-stroke characterization, costume quick-change, contemporary (and local) references, and just plain silliness. The old jokes were as funny and comfortable as old bunny slippers, and the new stuff fit like cogs in a clockwork. Timing was impeccable,

If I have one complaint, it would be with the venue itself. The play does not really lend itself to larger proscenium arenas, and the effort to get the cast out into the audience sometimes strained, especially when they tried to cross in front of those of us in the front row (for the record, Mr. VonCanon, I drive a beat-up old Eclipse).

Two other complaints -- the show has closed, and it’s gone (and Actor’s Theatre’s last production has been shelved). And, just to be cranky, the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s subsequent output (“Abridged” versions of the Bible and American History) have been, well, less-than-funny (actually, they truly suck).

And, if I want to be really petty, I’d complain that one of the best jokes of the Radio Shows did not make it into the final script (from the “Romeo and Juliet” show, it involved Elizabethan Birth Control and a stone in the shoe).

In any case, this was a funny funny show, and if you missed it, well you probably like dry old boring vomitless plays.

-- Brad Rudy (
Loved it
by Landerview
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Haven't seen anything funnier this year - I highly recommend it. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
by Jeremy P
Friday, July 16, 2004
Saw the show last night - caught me completely by surprise. Short background - I saw this show when I was in London a year ago, and in New York quite a while ago. Both shows were very funny and very energetic. This show is very different in that the main actors are all older actors - which, to me, makes the jokes funnier and somehow - don't know how to say this without sounding stupid - mature. This is a good thing, not a negative. The three actors in this show are very funny and do a great job with this show - which to be honest, can be pretty silly. Don't get me wrong, this is full of silliness, but it is quite a fun evening. I highly recommend it. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Completely Funny
by chapeldog
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
I'm moving back to New York - another show by this company seems to be going unseen by Atlanta. I've lived in Atlanta for about five years and nothing seems to change. A bunch of mediocre theatre and when a good company comes along, no one seems to really notice or support them. Growing up in New York, I saw what great theatre is all about, and no one else in town is doing theatre as great as Actors Theatre of Atlanta - yet they seem to get no crowds (on the noghts I'm there it seems small to me). As an actor I also sit stupified to not see more actors from Atlanta at shows around town. It's almost as if Atlanta actors feel it is beneath them to go see shows for which they weren't cast - how stupid is this. i make sure a theatre comapny knows I have come to see their show - they should know I was there and suupport their work.

This show is funny and a hell of a lot of fun - Steve Coulter steals the show for me. He was so great in Underneath the Lintel, and here he is in a show that allows him to do something completely different. He is so funny in all the different roles he plays. He is amazing! There is an out of town actor named Henson Keys who is wonderful too - very very funny man, and Quint Von Canon is also wonderful. A great evening - made me laugh so much my face hurt. I highly recommend it! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
to chapeldog by andy
I speak for me and if the same holds true for others, then I guess I speak for them too. I have not actually heard of this theatre, but my curiosity is peaked. I know the reason I (as an actress) can not see alot of theatre around town is because it can get costly. Some actors may even be busy doing their own shows that take up alot of time. I would love to be able to see many of these shows that are running, but it would just be too expensive. When I have time and extra money, I would gladly take a night at the theatre rather than a movie. Where is this theatre located?(if it is not mentioned).
A shame... by JasonMeinhardt
I agree, Chapel. I admit, I haven't seen anything at this theatre, but have heard nothing but rave reviews about what they do. It is a shame they have to cut the season short (at least that's what I have heard) when evidently they put on some of the best productions in the city. I hope to catch this one as it is my favorite comedy piece.
You must not get around much by bellsplayer
Virtually every time I see a show at any theater in this town I see from one to many actors, designers or technicians I've worked with before. Either you don't know many actors or you just don't get out enough.

I agree by Jeremy P
I agree with Chapeldog about his comment on actors and theatre artists not seeing shows around town.

I ask in all respect - have you been to Actors Theatre jd? I had not gone until this show. I loved the facility they work in - an amazing space to put it mildly. The ticket I got was $10 - so that's pretty resonable.
Thank you by woodyallen
Thank you for giving us a lesson in supporting our own assests chapeldog. You are absolutely right about remembering our neighboring Atlanta theatres as you are about this show!


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