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HomeTheatreREVIEW: Sh!t-faced Shakespeare presents: Romeo and Juliet at The Leicester Sq. Theatre

REVIEW: Sh!t-faced Shakespeare presents: Romeo and Juliet at The Leicester Sq. Theatre


Shitfaced Shakespeare is a Shakespeare firm with a twist and a stumble that has been luring audiences since 2010 with a easy but efficient idea. Every night time, one chosen solid member from no matter present they’re placing on, is made to drink for 4 hours earlier than stepping on the stage and the curtain rises. The rule is that they have to be nicely and actually ‘shit-faced’ by this level. The remaining ‘sober’ solid members are then required to accommodate their inebriated peer by justifying and improvising round them and likewise to proceed to drive the motion of the ‘precise’ play. It may very well be a comedy or tragedy being carried out, however the ingesting sport, because it have been, stays the identical. 

For my first expertise of a Shitfaced Shakespeare efficiency, I went to see their un-holy newest tackle Romeo & Juliet and my fortunate drunk was none aside from Juliet herself. As a comedy present having initially discovered its toes within the fringe scene, this can be a pared-down model of the traditional however retains in all of the much-loved key scenes of the play just like the balcony scene, loss of life of Mercutio and ultimate loss of life scene. Together with the 5 actors, the present additionally incorporates a evaluate into the combination to assist the drunken proceedings alongside. That is finished primarily by ensuring the inebriated actor stays that manner by handing them extra drinks (with assist from the viewers). Total the present, additionally, takes creative liberties to advertise extra bawdy and comedy-driven antics. 

So, after establishing all this it’s secure to say that it doesn’t matter what, a present like that is most likely going to be one scorching mess and hopefully an entire lot of enjoyable… which it’s, to some extent. Sadly, the task will get forgotten and as an alternative, it turns into 6 performers who don’t know whether or not their present is a pantomime, a satirical model of Romeo or Juliet or an entire farce.

Probably the most disappointing facet in regards to the present is that there isn’t a clear understanding of the comedy they’re utilizing. From the compares desperation for the viewers to know ‘there may be alcohol within the present’, to no finesse within the bodily comedy and force-fed d*!%okay jokes each step of the best way, little or no when it comes to the scripted comedy lands. The actors enjoying the Benvolio/Nurse and Mercutio/ Fryar Lawrance simply need to present you ways ‘humorous’, soiled and loud they are often. This performs as in the event that they assume the viewers is silly and received’t get what’s taking place until they’re hit over the top with it.

Paradoxically, the performer with the very best comedian timing was Juliet, who, whether or not or not was coping with scripted or unscripted materials discovered ease along with her drunken activity at hand and was the actor I had probably the most belief in to observe the temporary. The actors enjoying Romeo and Tybalt/ Lord Capulet, additionally on a optimistic be aware, have a dynamic of their key scenes that has extra consistency and distinction to Juliet’s shenanigans. They’re nonetheless heightened and ridiculous however extra efficiently work with their materials.

It’s a enjoyable night time out however lower than an affordable snigger far too usually of it. There’s simply an excessive amount of happening and the straightforward and really intelligent model the corporate have created will get diluted. 

For those who learn some Shakespeare, there are many intelligent and humorous soiled jokes via the lot of it. As he writes in Hamlet, “Let people who play your clowns converse not more than is ready down for them—for there be of them that may themselves snigger, to set on some amount of barren spectators to snigger too…”.


Assessment by Stephanie Osztreicher


Ranking: ★★

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