Terra Taylor Knudson weaves Shakespeare’s works into her own coming of age story in Willy’s Lil Virgin Queen, produced by Ohio Theatre Works.
It’s a lively show which mixes a personal tale with words from the Bard and a whistlestop tour through British Royal history (where are Stephen and John though in the list of monarchs?).
An American view on Britain, this is very funny, perceptive, and irreverent. Recorded before an audience, it shows the gift of the performer engaging with her audience.
The storytelling is sharp and detailed, delivered with a light touch and tongue in cheek. As Taylor Knudson conjures up memories of her schooldays, we can visualise them and walk with her.
Do you need to know your Shakespeare to appreciate this show? Not really, although it would give a different level of enjoyment and appreciation.
Sttong female characters from the canon come through: Ophelia; Joan of Arc; Anne Boleyn. Young Terra joins their ranks as aspiring actor seeking a route into training. These are classic situations pulled into the modern space.
This is a show that is easy to like: it educates as well as entertains. You will laugh quite a bit, and with just a few boxes and a chair, you can accept you are anywhere the show wants you to be.
You can watch Willy’s Lil Virgin Queen on-demand throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Purchase your tickets here.