Theater review: ‘Pulp Shakespeare’ at Theatre Asylum


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Hit men Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield would relish their Elizabethan counterparts in “Pulp Shakespeare,” the droll exercise in fan fiction now at Theatre Asylum. Her Majesty’s Secret Players and Combined Artform have transposed Quentin Tarantino’s cult favorite from 1990s L.A. to 16th century London: Jack Rabbit Slims becomes the Slender Hare, guns become daggers, and the F-bomb is neutralized into prepositional phrases (“Thine ears, have they been plugged with wool of lamb?”) Some things remain the same: There’s a mysterious case everyone wants, and the erotic possibilities of the foot massage remain hotly debated. Oh, and a lot of people get beaten up or killed.

A hit at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, this brisk homage plays it straight, and director Jordan Monsell finds some nice moments of suspense (and does a funny turn himself in Christopher Walken’s role).


The company’s strongest nod to Tarantino is its cohesive playing style, exemplified by loquacious assassins Vincent (Aaron Lyons, looking oddly like Steve Zahn) and smoothie Jules (Dan White). Dressed in identical black doublets and boots they make a dashing pair, and the show is most alive when they’re onstage. Vincent’s attraction to Mia (Sierra Fisk) seems dull by comparison — or maybe Fisk’s snood is just a total mood killer. (The otherwise excellent costumes are by Kelly Bailey.) There’s really only so far this conceit can go, and the story, held together by the ensemble’s conviction, doesn’t amount to much you can invest in. Tarantino junkies will enjoy this detour into Tudor pulp; others may prefer to revisit the original film. Why go to Europe for a Royale when we already have the Quarter Pounder?

-- Charlotte Stoudt

“Pulp Shakespeare” Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ends Nov. 13. $15-$20. Contact: (323) 960-7612 or Running time: 90 minutes.