No, not ‘Jeremy Kyle: The Musical’. Transferring from cult success at the Edinburgh Fringe is ‘Shit-Faced Shakespeare’, an anarchic adaptation of the Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ where one member of the cast gets tanked up before curtains up.
Our compère for the evening sets the scene for this compact comedy version of the play, where the – let’s face it – boring Mechanicals sub-plot your teacher told you was important and all that fairy king and queen nonsense has been cast aside so we can focus on four lovers romping in the woods. The additional twist being that one of the four actors in the hormonal quartet has necked two Stellas, a large volume of vodka and squash, and a tin of pre-mixed Woo Woo – they’re a classy lot, these thesps.
It’s left a surprise which member of the cast is pissed-up, though the game is given up when he swaggers and smirks his way across the stage and lets his debauchery turn this into what must be Shakespeare’s raunchiest number (it’s the kind of behaviour that would get you Bard, geddit). Improv is top-notch and although our dear Lysander makes for a lovable drunk, it’s the rest of the cast’s razor-sharp reactions that carry the play. The only character outside this tangled love web is a well-hung, steam-punk Puck, who helps maintain the daft momentum, although littering his scenes with a few too many ejaculation gags.
Proceedings not-so-gently unravel over the course of an hour in a way that makes you feel just as deliriously drunk. A great night out to get proper pucked up. It’s what Willy would have wanted.