Rhapsodes @ Pleasance Courtyard

In Ancient Greece, the ‘Rhapsodes’ would compete for glory at the best artistic festivals in Athens. How would a show bearing that name get on at the Fringe?

Review by Stu Black | 10 Aug 2016
  • Rhapsodes

This duo claim they can make up a Shakespeare play on the spot in verse. Rhapsodes, then, sound like an awful English class, but they turns out to be quietly jaw-dropping. Adam Meggido and Sean McCann – best known as part of the team behind Showstoppers: The Musical – bounce brilliantly off each other in the Cabaret Bar as they switch from form to form.

It's not just Shakespeare either, but Poe, Mamet, Miller and others. As they create a story out of audience suggestions, you'll witness some of the most deft and disciplined improv you're likely to see. In particular, their on-the-spot word-wangling alone is hard to beat. Of course, every day will be different but the consistency over the hour suggests there will be a very high standard over the run. It's spiky too – the hour we saw involved a sublime takedown of Theresa May as Meggido, as Harold Pinter invited her to go fuck herself in the street. It's just a shame no one will hear that one again.

Rhapsodes, Pleasance Courtyard (Cabaret Bar), 3-14 Aug, 2.30pm, £6-11.50