Australia’s largest independent theatre company the Australian Shakespeare Company (ASC) is thrilled to announce the hilarious hit production Shakespeare’s Best Bits.

The Mechanicals, that daring but goofy troupe of thespians from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will take audiences on an uproarious journey through all the Bard’s best bits.

From a Romeo & Juliet ballet to Macbethian Punch & Judy puppet witches, a King Lear battle rap to Beatrice and Benedick rock bands, this is slapstick theatre at its best, all too rarely seen in Melbourne.

It’s silly, it’s chaotic, it’s clever. It’s full of surprises, misunderstandings, blunders and comic wit – it cracks open Shakespeare and infuses it with wildly exciting scenarios. It’s wickedly entertaining. Glenn Elston’s brilliantly funny adaptation of Shakespeare’s cannon is designed to have the audience in stitches.

“Working back from the Mechanicals’ ultimate goal of wanting to please the Duke and Duchess with their choice of play gave us a lot of scope to work through Shakespeare’s canon,” says Glenn Elston, who also directs the production.

“The show covers ten different Shakespearian works (including a sonnet) and draw on a riotous medley of theatrical styles, from opera to cabaret to Commedia Dell’Arte. It has been a huge hit both with our loyal Shakespeare audiences as well as young people and others who are new to Shakespeare.”

The cast includes ASC comedy kings Kevin Hopkins (Melbourne Theatre Company, Blue Heelers) as Peter Quince, Anthony Rive (Aardvark Pub Theatre, ASC’s The Comedy of Errors) as Francis Flute and Hugh Sexton (Ghost Rider, The Wedding Party, Neighbours) as Robin Starveling.

December 18 – March 12