Kemp’s Jig by Chris Harris.

Steve Taylor enthusiastically brings this legendary Shakespearean actor, comedian and star of the stage Will Kemp to life in Chris Harris’s one-man show entitled “Kemp’s Jig”.

The “Jig” as the title suggests was, in fact, the Morris Dance Kemp undertook to start in 1599 from London to Norwich. He regales to the audience the various stories about how he was received by each town as he stopped along the way and the large crowds that gathered to welcome him.

The story of Kemp’s love-hate relationship with the Bard is told through his narrative. The witty and bawdy humour indicated that perhaps at times Kemp outwitted “Shake-rags” which is his often preferred nickname for Shakespeare.

His unique trunk of props also doubles up as a home to his dog, who when asked nicely can jump over a stick with only minor assistance! Although I am not too sure what breed of dog it is.

There are some interesting historical facts along the journey. For example the moving of The Globe and the graphic description of the macabre past time of watching someone being hung, drawn and quartered which Kemp appears to have enjoyed.

There is nothing to dislike about this show. Taylor breathes life into this colourful historical actor/comedian. It is very good light-hearted Fringe entertainment which is likely to raise a laugh or two along the way.

Four Stars.

Kemp’s Jig will be performed on August 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, and 17th.

At the Space on the Mile (Venue 39).


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