Come for the love scenes, stay for the on-stage naval battles this weekend at Shakespeare for the Masses tale of Antony & Cleopatra

The journey is epic and also abbreviated. The folks at Shakespeare for the Masses whittle down the master bard’s works to a running time of an hour, and only rehearse for one day. But never fear, the productions are always professional, comedic and free.

Antony & Cleopatra spans the entirety of the ancient world, and prologues the birth of the Roman Empire. All the principle characters really existed, and really behaved the way Shakespeare depicts them. Their behavior makes current world affairs look practically tepid.

Showtimes are Saturday Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, both at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church street in Vineyard Haven.