Shakespeare Day: Portaccio

by Cookie N Screen

Big Train is perhaps one of the funniest sketch shows of the early noughties. Created by Graham Lineham and Arthur Matthews, it was a wonderful and fast paced show with far out humour. With some brilliant sketches that are hilarious each time, it boasts a wicked cast of now much beloved comedy actors. Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, Catherine Tate and many more graced our tellies to give us some rib ticking moments like “The Stare Contest Commentators,” “I Don’t Speak English” and “Jesus and the Devil Office Politics.” While the second series wasn’t quite as memorable, the first one was a riot with hilarity in nearly every sketch. If you haven’t watched Big Train, I urge you to stop what you are doing, order the DVD and be thankful that we introduced you to it.

As it is Shakespeare Day, we are celebrating the best Shakespeare orientated goodness on the gogglebox. So what better way to showcase an incredible show and one of its funnier sketches. It revolves around a Shakespeare convention, where impersonators and lookalikes of the Bards turn up to celebrate. On one such meeting, a young and naïve impersonator turns up thinking that he is the hottest lookalike. Arrogant, the elders muse themselves over his actions. They remember the brilliant and legendary lookalike, Portaccio.

What starts off as a slow three minute sketch, actually becomes pretty funny. When called to reminisce about Portaccio, it becomes apparent that his likeness is so uncanny people mistake him for Shakespeare everywhere he goes. What is genius about that is over 400 years after his death, people couldn’t possible think that Portaccio is The Bard, right? Wrong. What ensues is a play on celebrity impersonators and the small fame that comes with it. The high point of this sketch is when a man, an angry Shakespeare fan, calls Portaccio out at a pub only to apologise realising his mistake. It’s pretty ingenious.

Add the bitter Simon Pegg in a leather jacket, doublets and breeches spouting angrily about Portaccio and the sketch is complete winner.

After all, Portaccio really really looks like Shakespeare.

Happy Shakespeare Day!

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