Completely Hollywood (abridged) is the Reduced Shakespeare Company's latest show, a 90-minute conflation of classic moments from Hollywood movie masterpieces. Films to be covered in great haste include The Wizard of Oz, When Harry Met Sally, Top Gun, Gandhi, Star Wars, Casablanca, Pulp Fiction, The Matrix, The African Queen, Jaws, The Godfather, Psycho and The Birds.
"If you could suddenly order every film from your local video store and watch them merge into the perfect Hollywood epic on a super high-speed mechanism, that's what you're going to get," explains the RSC actor Adam Millard. "To explain it ties me in knots, but we bang out a lot of one-liners."
With so many films in such a short space of time - and more than 40 costume changes per actor - the cast have a tough job ahead of them. "We are trying to condense all of Hollywood, its idiosyncrasies, its clichés and its history through the movies," says Millard.
The RSC company, which was founded in California in 1981, has already produced "abridged" versions ofThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Complete History of America, The Bible: The Complete Word of God, The Complete Millennium Musical and All The Great Books. This new show, written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, had its world premiere at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now, the UK-based American troupe is bringing it to London.
"We are starting out with silent films," says Millard. "I play the typical silent villain, the kind that ties an unsuspecting female to the train tracks. We go right through the genres to westerns. The cowboy character I play is a mishmash of all the great cowboy characters, with the name Butch Cassidy Rowdy Rooster Sundance Jennifer McShane. Then we move through sci-fi, romantic comedy, epic films and horror films."
New Wimbledon Theatre, London SW19 (0870 060 6646; www.reducedshakespeare.co.uk), 1 December; then touring to June 2006Reuse content