More than 450 years after the famous playwright’s death, New Zealand’s longest-running, late-night comedy show Scared Scriptless will be taking on a Shakespearean twist for a comedy special of Scared Scriptless: No Holds Bard.

For Court Jesters Artistic Director Dan Bain, the show is an opportunity to showcase the Shakespeare talents of The Court Jesters – both serious and silly.

“It’s a great opportunity to riff on the greatest playwright of all time. What’s fun about it is the juxtaposition of the formality of the language with the fast, silly nature of the improv.”

The show is an excuse to perform a clever and lively ode to the playwright – starting with some warm-up games before leading into a completely improvised Shakespeare play, written and performed on the night.

“We’ll play some little short scenes to get ourselves and our audience in the Shakespeare mood and then when we feel like they’re ready for it, we’ll perform a Shakespeare play that we’ll make up for the rest of the show.”

Bain, who directed the bard’s original tragedy Titus Andronicus earlier this year, is excited to twist that experience into a more comedic, improvisational style – and to bring back the props.

“It’s just an excuse for big neck-ruffs, swordfights, poisionings and betrayals, really.”   

For those worried about having to try and remember their high-school Shakespeare, Bain is quick to say that prior knowledge isn’t needed.

“There’s a good chance that if you are knowledgeable about Shakespeare you will be mortified.”

Scared Scriptless runs every Friday and Saturday night at The Court Theatre at 10:15pm. Scared Scriptless: No Holds Bard will run for one night only on 16th June at 10:15pm. To find out more and to buy tickets, click here.