If you look up Shit-Faced Shakespeare on the Adelaide Fringe website, it’ll tell you the show sold out in Edinburgh for the last four years running. You might think, “Sure… I don’t even know what an edinbouorugh is,” but, let me tell you, by the time I made my way to The May Wirth in Gluttony on Saturday night I could DEFINITELY tell by the size of the queue alone that I was in for a treat.
Basically, Shit-Faced Shakespeare is exactly what it sounds like: it’s five classical actors, doing a classical Shakespeare play, in classical Shakespearean English, except one is completely and utterly inebriated.
Soon, however, you realise said actor’s fate is still in your hands. Thanks to an array of alcohol-heralding, er… instruments… the crowd can (and will) rest assured the unlucky (or perhaps lucky) actor’s drinking will indeed continue during the show, while you watch it.
The show becomes a trainwreck masterpiece from the minute they step out, and continues derailing until the very end. Rules of the stage don’t apply, there’s a high chance they won’t even make it through the story, and there’s an even higher chance of witnessing A LOT of high-quality, additional material (no matter how hard the castmates try to prevent the royally shit-faced actor from interrupting their A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a story about her co-star’s penis).
Even if you don’t understand Shakespearean English – who would, it’s 400-year-old material – you can certainly trust a shit-faced person to tell it how it is, and with plenty of colourful language.
Thankfully, the lovely lady in the front row named Sharon got to keep the emergency bucket unused too.
The Verdict: ★★★★★
I bet that poor girl will be rating her hangover a hard zero today though.
I saw Shit-Faced Shakespeare on Saturday 9 March. Grab tickets to their remaining shows until the 17th here.