Shakespeare’s Histories: Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace!
By Tim Mooney
Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre
Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Blue Venue
Pretend someone cranked out a cycle of 10 full length plays about the US presidency from JFK to Barak Obama and you presented it to the Klingon Arts Commission. They don’t know what a Democrat or a Republican is, they don’t know about World War 2 or the Depression or the New Deal, and they have no contextual grasp of Henry Kissinger or Carl Rove or Bernstein or Woodward. Those Klingons would be lost, right? And that that’s where we are when it comes to Shakespeare History Plays. Should you side with the Yorks or the Lancasters? Who cares about France? What hold does the Catholic Church have over the distant British Isles? And which is the better speech: “A horse! A Horse! My Kingdom for a horse!” or “Ask not what your country can do for you?”
Mr. Mooney set out to clear all this up for us. He’s well equipped for the battle, there’s a PowerPoint presentation with org charts and performance reviews and color coded maps, the detail of medieval romantic politics are explored, and we run across all sorts of interesting women from Joan of Arc to Margaret of Anjou. Armed with a sword and defended by a slit-sleeved doublet, Mooney is the English teacher you always wish you had. His speeches are delivered with a fury that will rally the troops, and I think the politics of Shakespeare’s are beginning to invade my 20th century skull. You may well be exhausted by the end of the hour, and all you need do is sit still and clap. Yes, this is all the stuff that would be 3 credit hours in English lit program, but this show is quicker, more fun, and doesn’t have that nasty midterm theme paper due.
This production is part of the 2014 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Information on tickets and show times may be found at http://OrlandoFringe.org/