Knighthorse Offers a Rompin’ Shakespeare

Provincetown Banner | April 15, 2006 | By Sue Harrison

Ty and Amy Lemerande, the husband-and-wife team who perform impromptu bits from nearly 40 of Shakespeare’s best-known plays, bring chemistry, dynamic stagings, pathos and a whole lot of fun to their Knighthorse Theatre Company productions.

If the last time you encountered Shakespeare was during some punishing high school reading of Julius Caesar or Romeo and Juliet, hold on to your hat.  This is nothing like that.  Nor is it some stodgy, reverential production of Shakespeare.  This is dazzling, big fun that will keep your eyes glued to the stage for almost two and a half hours and will leave you thinking you should try to get back for another night.  In short, it is magical.

Ty and Amy, working with a small number of props, notably a stool, a few daggers and swords and a couple of hot Shakespearean-era costumes, stand a deliver anything the audience asks for.

Ty describes the jukebox principle by telling the audience it’s like the time when you could drop in some money and hear your favorite songs over and over, only this time it’s your favorite bits of Shakespeare.  It’s challenging for them, he says, since they walk out and never know what they will be performing for the next couple of hours.

Throughout the evening, Ty and Amy work closely with their audience, sometimes walking over to talk directly to someone or sitting by them for a while.  A couple of folks even got invited to take a line here and there.

They have great chemistry and individually they sizzle in their respective roles.

Ty Lemerande is a little like a young Mick Jagger spouting Shakespeare instead of rock lyrics.  He looks good, he knows it and he works it, strutting, sauntering and occasionally letting his vulnerable side show through.  He coaxes smiles with his bravado and humor and then shifts gears to drop to his knees and deliver a powerful soliloquy.  He turns his booming voice into a desperate rasp and transforms his strong body into a twisted shadow of itself that limps crablike around the stage.

His is always a very physical performance, and when his wife joins him she matches his energy level with a fire of her own.  They joke between plays and the audience is willing to follow them down any theatrical path they take.