The Bard is back in town

PUBLISHED: 12:22 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

FROM West End sell-out to the Alban Arena - that s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) which returns to the local stage next Friday, January 18. The Shakespeare Boys are back in town with their irreverent, fast-paced romp through all the

FROM West End sell-out to the Alban Arena - that's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) which returns to the local stage next Friday, January 18.

The Shakespeare Boys are back in town with their irreverent, fast-paced romp through all the Bard's plays in just 97 minutes.

They promise to weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare's comedies, histories and tragedies in a rollercoaster ride regarded by many as one of the funniest evenings on the planet.

The repertoire includes Hamlet performed forwards, backwards and sideways, Titus Andronicus as a TV cookery programme and a rap Othello. The comedies are nowhere near as funny as the tragedies and all 16 are condensed into Four Weddings and a Transvestite.

The Complete Works is the West End's longest-running comedy with 10 years at the Criterion Theatre. It has since conquered the globe being described by the Los Angeles Times as "wildly funny" and by the Montreal Gazette as, "the funniest show you are likely to see in your entire lifetime".

The show starts at 8pm and tickets at £17.50 with concessions £2 off are available from the box office on 01727 844488 or online at www.alban-arena.co.uk

l Jive Talkin', The Bee Gees Story, comes to the Arena the following night, Saturday, January 19.

It features the vocals of brothers Darren and Gary Simmons as Barry and Robin Gibb together with Jarrod Loughlin as Maurice Gibb. Collectively they have had career highs including starring in London's West End, numerous worldwide TV appearances and performing live with the Bee Gees themselves.

The Jive Talkin' band recreates the extensive Gibb Brothers' repertoire and there is additional narration to highlight pivotal moments in the Bee Gees career.

The show includes the heavily-orchestrated Sixties hits Massachusetts and Words as well as the string-heavy disco classics Stayin'Alive and Night Fever. The show also features a medley of some of the Bee Gees earlier hits and those they wrote for artistes such as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion and Diana Ross.

The show gets underway at 7.30pm and tickets are £17.50 and £15.50.

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