The Shitfaced-Shakespeare® crew are finally ready to tackle the greatest dramatic work ever committed to the page in the English language: Hamlet. The latest in their internationally successful series of drunken bard plays is also the third offering in the company’s 30-week 2019 residency at London’s Leicester Square Theatre. Time to get booking!
A favourite at Leicester Square Theatre for the past four years, Magnificent Bastard Productions are mid-way through their biggest-ever London season. Following their Shit-faced Showtime musical Oliver with a Twist! and Shit-faced Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew in April, the hard-drinking thespians are back this week to ham up Hamlet for a run from 19 June to 14 September 2019, with a press night this Friday 21 June.
Think you know Hamlet? The story of a whiny lad who goes a bit loopy and does some stabbings, featuring foul language, outrageous behaviour, terrible singing, rapidly expelled bodily fluids and dangerous swordplay, Shakespeare has long been considered ‘cultural’. Instead, think of it like Game of Thrones with fewer boobs (probably).
At Leicester Square Theatre, Shit-faced Shakespeare: Hamlet stars David Ellis, Natalie Boakye, Madeleine Schofield, Christopher Lane, Richard Hughes, Beth-Louise Priestley, Simi Egbejumi-David, Saul Marron and Stacey Norris, who also directs and produces. The production has costumes by Lorna Jean Connell and lighting, sound and fight choreography by Lewis Ironside.
How does a Shit-faced show work?
Every night one carefully selected member of the cast of professionally trained, Shakespearean actors is tasked with drinking for a full four hours prior to show time. The remainder of the sober cast are tasked with wrangling the drunken hero through a 70-minute adapted script, trying their level best to keep the show ‘on the rails’ while incorporating into the world of the play whatever drunken shenanigans are thrown at them. With the original text reduced to the primest theatrical cuts and no time to spare, every night is a high-energy race to the finish through an ever-changing series of drunken detours.
About the Magnificent Bastards
Formed in 2010, Magnificent Bastard Productions were just friends who loved creating unexpected and unpredictable theatre at music festivals such as Secret Garden Party. Sh!t-faced now performs across the UK, Australia and the US in Boston, Atlanta and Austin. They sell out at the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringes annually.
In 2015, the company expanded into Sh!t-faced Showtime®, a pissed-up hour of harmonious Broadway showtunes. This year, Sh!t-faced shows will also be presented at Brighton Fringe, York Fringe, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in the USA and in Australia this year.
Founding member of Sh!t-faced Shakespeare Lewis Ironside commented:
“Having remorselessly mucked about on the UK’s fringe theatre circuit for several years a small, and relatively modest, comedy show finally exploded onto the West End stage some four years ago. This ‘little show that could’ has since gone onto wow hundreds of thousands of audience members, tour the globe, win numerous awards, sell packed houses across three continents and become a beloved staple of the West End scene.
“Whether you consider it high art or merely disrespectful, lowest common denominator nonsense, one cannot deny its indisputable place among the pantheon of modern British theatre… The Play That Goes Wrong is taking bookings through to summer.”
What do audiences say?
Shit-faced Shakespeare: Hamlet runs from 19 June to 14 September 2019 at Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX, with performances (70 minutes) Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7pm. Tickets are priced £16.25-£20.75. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!