After experiencing their holiday play “A Klingon Christmas Carol” – both as a member of the audience and the cast - I didn’t think that the crew of Commedia Beauregard could top themselves. Well, I guess I was wrong, as their production of “Bard Fiction” – a re-telling of Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in the style of William Shakespeare – impresses even more with its ingenuity and wit.
If you’ve seen the movie “Pulp Fiction” as many times as I have, you’ll get a real chuckle at how Tarantino’s dialogue is translated into the Bard’s distinctive dialect. Mind you, none of the profanity that peppers a QT script is ported over, but the spirit of the original narrative is kept wholly intact. You can see what I mean by comparing the following scenes:
Now, I am by no means an expert on Shakespeare. In fact, I’ll admit that during my high school years, I disliked his plays because I found the dialogue to be incomprehensible. It wouldn’t be until many years later, when I saw Mel Gibson’s “Hamlet” and “Shakespeare in Love” that I finally developed an appreciation for the style. I’m of the opinion that if you want to get youth to truly appreciate Shakespeare’s works, exposing them to a production like “Bard Fiction” will help them gain a similar appreciation.
All your favorite characters from Pulp Fiction are present: Vincent, Jules, Mia, Marsellus Wallace, Butch, and yes…even The Gimp. (The sequence where Butch and Marsellus end up in Zed’s shop is just as disturbing in “Bard Fiction” as it was in the original film.) The costumes are designed to evoke Victorian times but with echoes of the contemporary fashion from the film. I think the closest parallel I can come up with is the graphic novel “1602”, wherein award-winning fantasy writer Neil Gaiman re-imagined the heroes and villains of Marvel Comics in pre-colonial America.
I recommend watching “Pulp Fiction” right before heading off to see “Bard Fiction” so that it’s fresh in your mind. There are so many little nods and winks to the film; you won’t want to miss them.
Bard Fiction gets a Geek Factor Rating of 4 broad swords (out of 4)
Bard Fiction is playing at the Chicago Greenhouse Theater until April 15th, 2012.
Click HERE for show times and tickets.