• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Fringe 2023: The Real William Shakespeare… As Told by Christopher Marlowe

ByJemima Hawkins

Aug 10, 2023
cast of the play

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This production sums up every conspiracy theory podcast about Shakespeare in a comedic and insightful way and is arguably the only ‘hot take’ you should listen to.

In short, the play acclaims the works of Shakespeare to Moroccan writer ‘Shake Ze Bear’, originally written in Arabic and translated into the words we know today by playwright Christopher Marlowe. ‘Make my words reside in your language as if they never knew any another’ provides the basis for the unfolding performance. It is set inside the flat of a dissertation student writing about the meaning of Shakespeare’s words and ‘not who wrote them’; however, following the expose of the play, she reveals that the words are the writer and the two cannot be mutually exclusive.

Fuelled by scene changes and immersion between 16th-century Morocco and 21st-century Scotland, the play explores the possible reality that Shakespeare from Stratford-Upon-Avon was a fictitious creation to elevate English works over those from Africa.

It also draws attention to the works of Christopher Marlowe, who can often be forgotten when analysing the contemporaries of Shakespeare. A live guitar player in full Shakespearian garb accompanied the performance, adding an intriguing and comedic backing to the performance. The nature of Marlowe as not only a playwright but a spy stoops his story in suspicion and provokes disbelief to his tale that the fame of Shakespeare was at the hands of his translation, resulting in further conspiracy as to the secret behind the writer.

This play is rich in musical and lyrical genius, with adept artistic and comedic direction, creating intrigue from the opening and hilarity throughout.

It is not necessary to have any comprehensive knowledge of Marlowe beforehand as his chronology is told from his days at university; the show is accessible to both experts seeking a different take on the world’s greatest playwright and theatrical novices craving an introduction different to the one that was spoon fed to them aged 15.

This unique show blends comedy, political satire and 16th-century mystery to command a spellbound audience.

The Real William Shakespeare… As Told by Christopher Marlowe is on at Greenside @ Riddles Court – Thistle Theatre at 1:50pm from August 9 till 19 (not 13). Tickets are available here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/real-william-shakespeare-as-told-by-christopher-marlowe.

Image provided to The Student as press material.