So we take his boring plays and we reduce 'em!
The poetry, the subplots, the imagery that's illing,
And we get right down to the sex and killing!"
The Reduced Shakespeare Company is an American comedy group, who specialise in taking vast bodies of work, that would take days to see in their entirety, whittling them down to the bare essentials, then whittling them down a bit further and filling the gaps with jokes. They arguably invented The Abridged Series formula, also heavily employing The Abridged History.
Their members can be blamed for producing these plays:
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
- The Complete History of America (abridged)
- The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)
- The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged)
- All the Great Books (abridged)
- Completely Hollywood (abridged)
- The Complete World of Sports (abridged)
- Star Wars Shortened
- Lost Reduced - Covers the first five seasons, and was televised before the sixth season premier.
- The Ring Reduced - Televised as part of Channel 4's Richard Wagner season.
- Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged) - An amalgam of all the plays, supposedly written before he had the idea of seperating them out.
They also made The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show for The BBC World Service, which was The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) reformatted into six half-hour radio episodes (examples for the radio show are currently placed in the main Shakespeare show's page). Although not strictly RSC shows, founder Adam Long made four Reduced-style quarter-hour shows for BBC Radio 4 about British politics under the title The Condensed History of... (the three main parties and Big Ben).