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Double bill of Will is just the ticket

High Jinx Shakespeare, Albany Theatre, Coventry, July 15. by Barbara Goulden Well, I never thought Macbeth could be funny. But thanks to the totally irreverent 440 Theatre group this Shakespeare tragedy turned into high kitsch comedy with even a hapless member of the audience recruited as king. Not Macbeth himself, you understand, that role was taken by Ben Locke or Dom Gee Burch. Nobody really cared which was which as all four members of this highly talented travelling group played about ten parts each. In Macbeth we had 40 minutes of murder most horrid with hardly a spec of blood in sight - and the best parts were equally divided between Ben, or Dom, as whoever wasn't Macbeth played all three witches. This wasn't pantomime, they warned us solemnly, struggling hard to keep straight faces. Even the youngest members of the audience at The Albany Theatre didn't appear remotely disturbed as they were served up several of the most famous Shakespearean speeches in a manner quite likely to stay with them until A-levels loom. Meanwhile, it was audience participation all the way during the first condensed playlet of the evening. A Midsummer Night's Dream. Here the women took the more dominant roles as not only Hermia and Helena, Titania and the mischievous Puck but by having the most fun. One member of the audience paid the price for sitting in the front row by being coerced onto stage. I really don't think he minded. After all he did end up King of Scotland in the second half. Sadly this was a one night only performance by the 440 Theatre group of travelling troubadours. But watch out for them if they come this way again.