Excerpts from the no-longer-existent Whitsend.org feature called the Odyssey Times.
Originally published on the website around February of 2001.
Harlequin Theatre to host Shakespeare-Wrestling show
Edwin Blackgaard announced today that his Harlequin Dinner Theatre would begin a special presentation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream beginning in two weeks. The show will feature a blend of traditional Shakespearean drama and professional wrestling.
“The main problem was that our showing of the play for the last three weeks has been ill-attended,” said Blackgaard. Walter Shakespeare, Blackgaard’s assistant, confirmed that attendance has hovered around eight for the last five performances (including those who leave the show before it ends).
“By presenting this hybrid between high-quality theatre and…lower-quality entertainment, we hope to attract a large crowd,” said Blackgaard. When asked how he intended to incorporate wrestling into a Shakespearean play, Blackgaard listed more than a dozen “minor” changes to the script. The main one includes the replacement of all sword-fighting scenes with wrestling moves. “Instead of a duel, the two combatants will see who can get the first take-down,” said Blackgaard. Another change includes having all of the drama take place within a 12 foot by 12 foot square ring and announcers who constantly tell the audience what they are seeing as the dialog is being delivered. Tickets go on sale on Monday.