A THREE-man troupe will reduce the entire history of comedy to a short, sharp blast of a show in Bolton.

The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) will be staged at the Octagon Theatre on Wednesday, May 27.

From the high-brow to the low, the show covers comedy through the ages — from Aristophanes and Shakespeare to Vaudeville and Charlie Chaplin.

It is the latest production from The Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC), a touring American acting troupe that performs fast-paced, seemingly improvisational condensations of huge topics.

The company was founded in 1981 by Daniel Singer, who wrote a 25-minute, four-actor version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, to be performed at a festival in California.

Cast member Andrew Hodges is one of four members of the comedy troupe, with three performing in any one show.

From cavemen telling "Rock Rock” jokes to Chris Rock and everything in-between, the company leaves no joke untold as they deconstruct the entire history of comedy in 90 rollicking minutes.

He said: "I'm a newbie to the show.

"I got cast at the end of last year, just before Christmas.

"The show has been going for 30 years. It started out at festivals.

"I'm looking forward to Bolton.

"I know the Octagon Theatre very well. It's got a good reputation."

This show has been altered slightly to make it more suitable for a British audience and other subjects have included sports, American history, the millennium and a Bible show which Andrew says is "very popular".

The company’s first three shows, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged) and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) enjoyed a nine-year run at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus.

Andrew, who studied at University College London, has an idea of what he would like the subject of the next one to be.

He said: "I have recently finished a master's degree in medieval history.

"That's one of the shows that they have not done — the history of Britain.

"Maybe I will talk to them and see if we can.

"British history is very much my favourite."

Hailing from Montana in the US and now living in London, why is that his favourite subject?

Andrew, who appeared in spy thriller The 39 Steps in the West End, said: "I guess it's something to do with that, as interesting as American history is, there's not as much of it.

"I'm trying to think of a really sophisticated answer but I like castles and kings — I'm basically just a 12-year-old kid."

The company was last seen on a four month tour of the UK and Ireland with The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) at the start of 2014.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete History of Comedy (abridged), written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, will be at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, on Wednesday, May 27, at 7.30pm.

Visit octagonbolton.co.uk.