Villainy is, in some sense, an educational theatre show for adults… and I mean that in the best possible way.
It’s an argument for the continued relevance of Shakespeare in the culture and in the lives of 21st century Americans. When the show started, with video and a postmodern take on Shakespeare, I feared that we would overwhelmed with gimmickry. In one of the best surprises of the festival, though, the cast has the classical chops to do the Shakespeare lines.
Ultimately, I was unclear if the show really added up to something or not, other than its implicit argument for the continued relevance of Shakespeare. But that’s not an argument against the show, which stands on the foundation of a strong concept and the acting of its young cast.