Leicester Square Theatre, London – until 1 June 2019
What is it? A group of professionally trained actors perform a famous Shakespeare play with one difference. One member of the company is completely shit-faced drunk.
What’s it all about? This time around Magnificent Bastards are giving their take of The Taming Of The Shrew. There are some of the Shitfaced veterans present (Stacey Norris and Saul Marron) as well as some newer faces. Tonight’s MC is Matt Seager who is able to command and energise the crowd with ease. And once the show starts it is immediately obvious who the drunk is.
Lucentio (Jack Forsyth) stumbles through the show trying to woo Bianca (Briony Rawle) and ends up wooing more than just her. As Petruchio (Will Seward) tames the waspish Katharina (Norris) the actors do a wonderful job keeping the show on track and keeping this evening’s drunk on book (sort of).
How did it make me feel? The cast is all brilliant. The show’s concept is hilarious and is the perfect start to a night out on the town. However, the main issue seems to be, that due to this show’s popularity, the “drunk” has a self awareness that reminds us all how funny and drunk they are supposed to be. When in fact, it is the impossible task of seriously getting through the show that makes it so exciting to watch.
The rest of the ensemble, all highly skilled improvisers, do very well at working around the over the top outbursts of the drunken Lucentio, but it is obvious that being drunk is not enough to stop him being aware of the fact that he is supposed to be the “funny” one, and it is the sober cast that get the biggest laughs throughout.
Where is it playing? Leicester Square Theatre has been home to this show for years and serves as a the perfect space for quick spillage clean ups and emergency locking of doors (to keep in those drunks who try to escape).
Anything Else? This show will always do well, because it is such a fun, relatable idea. Anyone trying to get through something serious while pissed will know how ridiculous this feat is, and the team at Magnificent Bastard have done well at keeping this essentially one joke show fresh and exhilarating. Amy x Sh!tfaced Shakespeare: Taming Of The Shrew is playing at Leicester Square Theatre until the 1st June 2019. If you like my reviews and want to support this blog feel free to buy me a virtual coffee here!