“Lord, what dicks these mortals be!”
Not exactly as originally written, but the meaning is the same.
SHIT-FACED SHAKESPEARE is the unholy offspring of Magnificent Bastard Productions and has become something of a cult at the annual Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe Festivals. It has spawned numerous versions and is currently being performed in such global locations as Texas, Massachusetts and London.
Bardolatry is big this year with a myriad of Shakespearian productions commemorating the 400th anniversary of the writer’s death. This, however is a irreverent take on the Shake – a bawdy, abbreviated adaption of one of his plays by five cast members, one of which is completely hammered, totally wasted or as the Bard himself would say, “Reeling ripe” …nay shit-faced.
The latest production, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM has taken up an extended residency at London’s Leicester Square Theatre. A company of nine perform in rotation to ‘give the livers time to recover’. The director and MC, Lewis Ironside opens the show enthusiastically explaining what is about to happen…as far as he knows. On press night the 70 minute version centred around the four lovers, Lysander (Sam Marron), Hermia (Beth-Louise Priestly), Demetrius (John Mitton) and Helena (Stacey Norris) joined by Puck (Rob Smythson) who grabs a Bottom from the audience. The designated drunk was Sam, who consumed two Stellas, half a bottle of vodka and a can of Archer’s woo woo before tackling the role of a legless Lysander and a few other things. Over the past six years, 20,000 units of alcohol have been consumed.
I left this Shakespearian scribble with Beth-Louise at the theatre who kindly signed and got the rest of the crew to do the same …although I’m not sure which one of them was on the turps. I’ll let you decide. Bottoms up!