Sh*t-faced Shakespeare is a great night out, combining the fun of the theatre with the chaos of trying to control that one friend who’s had a few too many and decided that they’re a stand-up comedian.
The atmosphere in the Leicester Square Theatre is buzzing as the audience take their seats with dance music blasting from the speakers and busy bars. Everything has more of the feel of an anarchic stand-up gig than that which you might expect of the Bard… but, of course, this is Shakespeare with a twist.
The simple set design is effective in allowing maximum space for antics and the transition music maintains the sense of this show having one foot in the past and one firmly in the now. Actor-wrangler-in-chief Stacey Norris opens the show with gusto and advises the audience of the do’s and don’t’s (there are very few don’t’s!) before we get into the show.
The cast are clearly skilled and well-rehearsed, able to improvise Shakespearean dialogue as easily as perform the text itself – an ability that very soon comes in handy as our drunken Petruchio (the hilarious Saul Marron) staggers onto stage backwards. Particularly enjoyable was Lucy Farrar’s Bianca, whose ability to quip based on Marron’s antics was most impressive.
The production is essentially an ensemble piece though, the biggest highlights coming when as many cast members as possible are on stage, all trying to herd the cats that are a sozzled Petruchio. I couldn’t wait to see the show, having heard great things over the years, and my expectations were exceeded. A brilliant night out but remember… this is not your grandmother’s Shakespeare unless, like mine, your granny likes more than a few sherries of an afternoon.
Review by Ben Powell
Will Petruchio jack it all in and stay a bachelor? Will Kate be tamed or tanked? Sh!t-faced Shakespeare® returns to Leicester Square Theatre with their drunken antics and drunken actors to tell the tale of a shrew who turns from tempestuous to tamed, probably. With one genuinely inebriated actor every night, The Taming of the Shrew features cross-dressing, food fights, a highly underwhelming horse, one too many bum cheeks and more twisted gender politics than you can shake a fawning fat-skinned fustilarian at!
@shitfacedshake | #ShitfacedShrew | www.magnificentbastard.co.uk
Running Time: 70 mins | Suitable for ages 16+
Directed by Rev. Lewis Ironside
Produced by Stacey Norris
Set design by Mac Young
Costume design by Lorna Jean Connell
Cast: Stacey Norris, Saul Marron, Briony Rawle, Lucy Farrar, Rob Smythson, Will Seaward, Matthew Seager, Jack Forsyth-Noble.
Booking Period: to 1 June 2019
Running Time: 70 minutes
Age Restriction: 16+
Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BX