Occasionally an idea comes around that makes you think, how was this never done before? With Pulp Shakespeare, directed by Jordan Monsell, I had such a moment, and yes, it’s exactly what you are thinking; the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction done in the manner of William Shakespeare.
Now, this could have gone wrong, but I am pleased to report that between the smooth directing skills, the flawless cast, and a darn good script, Pulp Shakespeare was hilariously engaging, and made me want to revisit the movie. It started just as I remembered it, with the couple in the diner. But instead of modern day profanity, they spewed words that I barely knew the meaning of, but were perfect for the Elizabethan era.
After the first scene, we come to the main characters, who you may remember, are Julius Winfield and Vincent de la Vega, respectively played by Dan White and Aaron Lyons. Both channeled their movie counterparts beautifully (Samuel Jackson and John Travolta), and if we were actually in England in the late 1500s, they would have been terrifying. As it was, the whole play turned into a comedy, as iconic scenes from the movie unfolded with campy fodder for the actors, all of whom played their roles well. Aside from White and Lyons, another performer who really stood out was Christian Levatino, who played the Butcher. At times, you could actually see Bruce Willis in his performance as he madly stalked around the stage. And yes, he totally quoted, “Zed is dead,” and the audience erupted in cheers, laughter, and applause.
Pulp Shakespeare ran for about an hour and a half, meaning they cut some of the scenes from the movie. However, nothing was missed. We still had the part where Vincent dances with Mia Wallace, played by Hannah Beck, in the club, and the pair mix their modern dance moves with some classic Elizabethan ones. There is plenty of violence too, but instead of guns, they have broad swords and daggers. Even without props, props to the fantastic cast and crew for producing a one-of-a-kind performance.
Her Majesty’s Secret Players
Writer: Ben Tallen, Aaron Greer, Brian Watson-Jones, and Jordan Monsell
Director: Jordan Monsell
What if William Shakespeare had written Pulp Fiction? This wildly entertaining parody pays homage to the films witty dialogue and colorful characters, while staying firmly grounded in the language and rhetoric of Shakespeare’s time.
1h 30m National Los Angeles, California
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VENUE #12: Cherry Lane Theatre
Sun 12 @ 4 Tue 14 @ 8:30 Sun 19 @ 5:30 Thu 23 @ 9:15 Fri 24 @ 2