How to improve on a masterpiece? By setting it to music and adding perky dance routines! Bristol Shakespeare Festival return to the Fringe with another irreverent take on a classic text, this time pimping Julius Caesar with an all-female mix of song, dance, and faux Elizabethan ruffs.

An overture set to the tune of Tragedy briefs us on the basics of Shakespearean appreciation, before the stage is yielded to an attention-seeking Caesar – who proceeds to rock out Augustine’s on a comedy inflatable guitar. The jokes, and the tunes, are non-stop from there; expect a few pop anthems, greatest hits from West End musicals, and an operatic aria delivered by a gleefully deranged ghost.

The fast-paced lyrics aren’t always easy to follow, but they reward attention with their clever references to the musical originals and occasional groan-inducing rhymes. It’s worth, as well, keeping an eye on the characters in the background, who respond to events on-stage (and their own at-times shaky interpretation of them) with reactions that stay just the right side of 100% ham.

To talk too much about the storytelling might be missing the point, but they genuinely do get through the Bardic plot – and a couple of scenes transcend the humour to offer interesting and creative angles. With the audience cast as the populace of Rome, the showdown between Antony and Brutus is particularly entertaining, while songs involving Calpurnia and Portia make ironic comment on the relationships between them and their leading men.

Most of all, though, this is a carefree romp, that’s well aware of its lo-fi production values and cheerfully leans into them. Behind the cardboard props and the wacky song and dance, there’s genuine love of Shakespeare fuelled by an irresistible sense of fun. Be sure to make time for this quintessential Fringe production.