You may be sick of multiverses by now, but this new play, ‘The Prince’, unveils yet another: a Shakespearean multiverse. But unlike Marvel, there is an escape! In this show, you join the two protagonists Jen and Sam as they try to navigate this strange world to find the way out….
And after watching this play, this is a brief non-spoilery (fingers crossed) review.
This show’s twist on Shakespeare, I would not have considered. The way the actors danced around the age-old Shakespearean verse (or lines) to make sure the audience know what the fuck was going on, was especially brilliant, particularly how, at points, it was worked into the play’s plot, as it seemed some of the main cast were just as confused as us, and that was awesome. If anything, it was reassuring. I say this because before I saw the play I was wondering if I needed to be clued up in Shakespeare. Luckily this play was done in a way that you don’t need to be.
To be honest, the jokes on the Shakespearean language were brilliant. It was hilarious, and often satisfying, to hear these big, grand lines being projected throughout the theatre, only to be interrupted by something, and that character subsequently uttering a swear word. Abigail can say “Fuck” more satisfyingly than Henry Caville in The Witcher.
But of course, alongside that, because of the meta route they were taking in the plot, they could make social commentary addressing moments that haven’t aged well in the original play. And my god, if the terfs saw this… Well let’s not go there today.
What we saw was enlightening, the way it was interwoven into the story really felt organic, and honestly, didn’t feel forced, and at times elicited a few claps from the audience and raucous laughter.
The calling out of the misogyny often displayed by Shakespeare plays was amazing, and the homophobia was often called out, and there were plenty of moments like that sprinkled throughout the play discussing this misogyny. And a lot of it, we could make entire threads on. But when it comes to the topics mentioned in the play, I don’t know whether I could discuss it without spoiling the plot.
But then, when you move away from the meta comedy and the social commentary that was very readily played out, it was also fantastic with characters, and when it came to the emotional scenes… They really nailed it! At points It was absolutely heart-wrenching, and you do feel for the characters: as a trans person, the metaphors and trans allegories shown during the play resonated in such a strong way with me personally that as a newly cracked egg during lockdown, the questions of identity and a lot of the other themes are always in my mind, and the hit of that is particularly fresh. So for me, it hit me particularly hard. So because of this, I have a feeling this play will stick with me and in my mind for a very long time.
And the more I think on each of these details shown throughout the play. I’m just thinking, damn, good fucking job! It’s something I would be able to rewatch over and over and over again. And even if the theatre run is over, I am now thinking, thank fuck for Nebula for filming this! It’s the most compelling case for me to even consider purchasing a subscription for that site, and I’m sick and tired of seeing those bloody adverts from Nebula.
And with that, I don’t know the rating I would give it, because I am not sure I can rate it highly enough. And, it really shows how much of a mistake it is, that in the media these themes aren’t shown enough. There’s so much potential, and this play just proves it.
The Prince is running at the Southwark Playhouse in London until the 8th of October. Tickets are available here.