Shakespeare For Breakfast Day is one of my favourite days at the Fringe.
Its name, as you might suspect, comes about because it is the day we see Shakespeare For Breakfast. It’s normally early in the week so if we like the cast we can stalk them through their other shows as well. Which is why we’re seeing Dickens For Dinner tomorrow.
What makes Shakespeare For Breakfast so special is the breaking of the fast element to the proceedings.
You arrive, and you are offered a beverage. This may be hot or cold depending on your preference for tea, coffee or freshly squeezed (from a tetrapak) orange. This is given to you in a styrofoam cup.
You then enter the performance area to take your seat. Upon the seat is a croissant.
The fun comes with the combination of beverage, croissant, sitting and any bags the person may already have.
Standing in the foyer, hot drink in hand, you hear many, many people – a lot who would not look out of place in the film Cocoon – discuss previous times they have been to see the show.
And yet… and yet… the croissant still throws them.
It’s easy to deal with. You move the pastry to an adjacent chair, sit down, sort your bags out, get pastry back. It is easy. You can also ask someone you’re with – maybe they are less burdened than you – to take it. Even a stranger, if you ask, will scoop a pastry out of the way to allow you to sit down.
It really is that simple.
This morning we enjoyed all variations of the croissant shuffle. Every variation you could imagine.
And then… and then, for the first time I have ever seen it but surely not the first time it has happened, a woman in quite excitedly patterned trousers sat squarely upon her baked good.
The people in the row behind tried to stop it happening but, alas, gravity had taken a firm hold and her descent was past the point of no return. She sat, as a cloud of buttery pastry crumbs rose into the air like the pyroclastic cloud of an erupting volcano.
The show itself could have been the worst thing ever to grace a stage and it wouldn’t have dampened my love for that hour. But it wasn’t. It was great. Really great. Macbeth through a tale of allotment treachery was just brilliant.
Not as good as sitting on a croissant, but close.