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Edinburgh Fringe 2021

Migrant Shakespeare

Seyyar Company

Genre: Adaptation, Site-Specific

Venue: C Arts online


Low Down

All the world is a stage as a number of migrants use the lines of Shakespeare in their world and with their roles in atypical jobs they inhabit in our communities. And so we have, amongst others, out damn spot in a domestic setting, Launcelot Gobo in a warehouse with dressmaker’s equipment, Merchant of Venice in the back of a shop, Lear in a construction site and Tempest in a hotel and a warehouse.



On paper I cannot think of anything better than taking the migrant actors in our midst, handing them the complexities of Shakespeare and allowing them to explore their circumstances through the words of a man well used to writing the drama that must be daily part of their lives. And so, it is highly dramatic.

Unfortunately, it is a little patchy and the sound does not help. The acting is always good and the understanding of the complexities of the phrases being turned would embarrass an A Level student as these people grasp the undercurrents so well.

It is directed more functionally, and the editing can be a tad jumpy but overall there is plenty to like. The music used has the right feel, reminding us of the original idea and why we should be watching whilst the context of each speech does have resonance to their surroundings.

I particularly liked the opening and managing to show the seven ages of man in reality is gruesome but effective. Macbeth too at home, works well as does the Tempest in the hotel. Each of these remind me of how the experience of people who come with qualifications and experience can, at times tend towards the point of it being disheartening that they are asked to go into manual or less skilled labour. Their value to us as people should never be diminished but to have this all set in circumstances which are working class and more menial than complex is very well achieved. It made me think and with some polish it could do so much more.


Show Website

Seyyar Company