Charismatic comedy 'Kemp's Jig' - about a Shakespearean jester - heading to The Fleece Inn, Bretforton - The Evesham Observer

Charismatic comedy 'Kemp's Jig' - about a Shakespearean jester - heading to The Fleece Inn, Bretforton

Evesham Editorial 7th Sep, 2021   0

A STAGE show about Shakespearean jester Will Kemp is heading to The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, next Thursday, September 16.

Writer Chris Harris has penned ‘Kemp’s Jig’ about the performer who, in 1600 after leaving The Bard’s stage company – The Lord Chamberlain’s Men – decided to showcase his clowning by Morris-dancing from London to Norwich.

The Nine Daies Wonder finished in St Johns Alley where there is a plaque in tribute to Kemp at Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre.

The colourful character who was one of the earliest celebrity clowns has been represented on screen in Doctor Who, Shakespeare in Love and BBC situation comedy Upstart Cow where Spencer Jones played him as Ricky Gervais.

The Blue Fire Theatre Company show debuted in 2019 and has graced stages at York’s Friargate Theatre, Maddermarket Theatre, Twickenham-based Mary Wallace Theatre, Winchester’s Chesil Theatre, London’s Tara Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The show has received rave reviews, including it being described as a ‘thoroughly irreverent and entertaining look at England’s theatrical and social history’ and it providing ‘an insight into the unglamorous side of life in Tudor England’.

Steve Taylor, who plays the jester, said it was an evening of comedy interspersed with anecdotes from the journey, along with insights into the demise of his relationship with Shakespeare.

“As chief comedian, Kemp was undoubtedly instrumental in the success of The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and created many of Shakespeare’s famous comedy characters.

“Sadly, the success of both served as the wedge that forced them apart.”

Click here for more information and tickets on the Fleece Inn show.

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