Who are we?
ShakeItUp Theatre is an improvisation company based in London that specialises in improvised Shakespeare. Formed in 2018, we have been entertaining audiences across the UK and Europe with our unique brand of “Bard-based bedlam” for the past five-years.
Our ethos is all about making Shakespeare as accessible as possible, to the widest audience possible. ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show is our flagship show. We perform regularly in London and across the UK, performing at festivals such as Larmer Tree and How The Light Gets In, and indoor and outdoor venues from Coventry to Cornwall. We have also taken the show abroad, entertaining audiences and running workshops in Germany, Italy, and Poland.
Workshops and education are also a key part of ShakeItUp Theatre’s work. In 2021, we ran a 10-week improvised Shakespeare course for inmates in Pentonville Prison, funded by Arts Council England. This work was featured in The Stage and the Comedy Studies journal, and has become a key part of the prison’s education offer. This year, we are working with the charity Change Grow Live to deliver a similar project to individuals recovering from addiction. We also teach improvisation to the next generation of artists and have worked with the Guildford School of Acting delivering classes and workshops for drama school students.
See our website for more about our work, our actors, and our upcoming shows:
For more about ShakeItUp Theatre’s work in Pentonville Prison check out:
What’s the show?
ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show is a long form improvised play that takes audience suggestions and mixes these with the language, themes, tropes, characters, and plots from Shakespeare to create an hour of hilarious theatre. With a cast of five, the show also includes a live band improvising music and song alongside the action on stage. Each show is completely improvised on the spot, with the audience deciding the genre (history, tragedy, or comedy), location, and names of the characters, as well as writing lines for the actors to say at any point during the show.
Developed under the mentorship of Mischief Theatre’s Dave Hearn, the show has garnered five-star reviews and is performed regularly in London, across the UK, and in continental Europe. Last year we entertained volunteers at Shakespeare’s Globe, and this May we are delighted to have been invited to perform at the Minack Theatre, one of the UK’s best outdoor theatres.
ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show has been called “quick witted, inexhaustible, and absolutely hysterical”, “a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece”, and “a great night out” by reviewers and audiences alike. With five years of experience under our belts, now is the time for us to bring this unforgettable show to Edinburgh Fringe audiences for the first time, and we are thrilled that we will be performing our show daily at the Gilded Balloon, one of the Fringe’s biggest and best venues, from 2nd to 13th August 2023.
What do we need?
Performing at the Fringe is a massive moment for our company: it will bring in new audiences, raise the profile of ShakeItUp Theatre, and allow us to share our work and story even further than we have achieved already.
Taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe is incredibly expensive however. Even if we were sell-out every performance, we would not be able to cover our costs. Luckily, much of the hard work is behind us: the show is ready to go, the venue is booked, and tickets are on sale.
Your support is crucial however to help us cover two of the largest costs of taking a show like ours to the Fringe: travel and accommodation. The money raised here will cover our shortfall and allow us to cover these costs and perform our show at the Fringe without affecting our ability to continue our industry-leading work in the future.