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EDINBURGH 2018 - BWW Review: MINISTERS OF GRACE, TheSpace on the Mile

EDINBURGH 2018 - BWW Review: MINISTERS OF GRACE, TheSpace on the Mile

EDINBURGH 2018 - BWW Review: MINISTERS OF GRACE, TheSpace on the MileHere at the world's biggest arts festival, creatives and performers from all over the globe are tackling truly important questions, but surely none are more crucial than the central premise of Ministers of Grace: what would the result be if Shakespeare had written seminal Eighties classic Ghostbusters?

Really, considering the central position of ghosts in some of the Bard's most famous works, it's an obvious match. Thankfully for the Western canon however, neither Hamlet Senior nor Banquo are sucked into a proton pack in this parody.

In Ministers of Grace, REDuck Producktions have slapped Shakespearean language, costumes and setting on to the story of disgraced "philosophers" saving the public from the supernatural. It could be one funny idea stretched over a painful 80 minutes of simply adding "verily" to film catchphrases, but happily, Jordan Monsell's script has evidently seen a lot of hard work and thought, as well as no little skill, to meld the two properties together into something that honours both of its inspirations.

The result is a fast-paced, broad comedy that will entertain and appeal to a wide audience. Shakespeare fans will love the smug feeling they get as they nod with recognition each time they recognise a famous quote being dropped in, while fans of the film will enjoy a new take on a beloved sci-fi hit.

The cast all work exceptionally hard throughout, swapping roles with ease and making the characters recognisable while avoiding the temptation of outright impressions. James Duckner captures all of the delightful swagger of Peter Venkman, the role originated by Bill Murray, while Alisha Hart stands out from a strong ensemble with such contrasting roles as droll secretary Janine and the demon god Gozer.

The level of detail in the script extends to the production values, which are uniformly strong. Simple, versatile staging combines with shadow puppetry, effective lighting and great costumes to excellent effect, with even the great touch of the iconic theme tune played on the lute.

Ministers of Grace is a barmy show that certainly qualifies as something strange in one's neighbourhood, but will entertain all ages. Like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, it's light, fluffy, nostalgic joy. Tickets are disappearing fast for this limited run, so book quickly!

Ministers of Grace runs at theSpace on The Mile until 10 August

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From This Author Amy Hanson

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