Set in William Shakespeare’s own room in 16th century London, Will and The Ghost begins explosively and for the next 50 minutes Shakespearean references, witticisms and quotes abound in this award winning one-act play written by Aoise Stratford and Conal Condren (a father & daughter team).
The diegesis is easy to follow. One night returning home after boozing it up at the Bear’s Head Tavern, Will is set upon by robbers only to be saved by a good samaritan, but the good deed comes at a price and Will soon discovers he might just have been better off at the hands of the would-be thieves, as rather than plunder his purse the titular ghost connives to plunder his soul.
This production is the first in a series as part of the ‘Black Box @ The Bakehouse’ initiative. A project designed to support and promote local artists. It exceeds expectations.
The set, designed by Christy and Lucy Markiewicz, is simply but effectively furnished and uses the intimate space to perfection.
Director Lucy Markiewicz gives David Hirst, as Will, a free hand in the histrionics of the role and Hirst uses his naturally gangly body to accentuate his energetic performance. John Maurice authoritatively renders The Ghost in an easy naturalist style. The contrast works in the drama as the characters wrestle one another and comically as the audience do laugh in all the right places.
The lighting by Kate Jackman is so good it almost represents a third character on stage. Jackman’s timing is a credit to her profession.
Ambient music by Unjay Markiewicz is always appropriate and enhances the value of the production.
There are two productions running concurrently in Adelaide about William Shakespeare and, measure for measure, of the two this is the one worth a pilgrimage to The Bakehouse Theatre through a tempestuous winter’s night in South Australia.