Drunk Shakespeare

Theater , Interactive
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(53 user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Jenny Anderson)
Photograph: Jenny Anderson
Drunk Shakespeare
 (Photograph: Jenny Anderson)
Photograph: Jenny Anderson
Drunk Shakespeare
 (Photograph: Jenny Anderson)
Photograph: Jenny Anderson
Drunk Shakespeare

An actor drinks heavily (in the vein of Comedy Central's Drunk History) and then tries to corral others into enacting a story by the Bard. Bibulous excess is encouraged.

Event phone: 914-713-7865
Event website: http://drunkshakespeare.com

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:39
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:13
2 people listening
Michael R
14 of 22 found helpful

Went this past Saturday for the 10pm show and had a blast! The actors are great and the setting in a bar could not be more perfect! Lots of great improv and involvement of the crowd. Will go back next time I'll be in New York. 

Brett R
7 of 9 found helpful

Being King for an evening is quite entertaining, but watch your back because you never know which Shakespearian play the actors will break out into.  The entertainment value was very high, even more so when you throw someone drunk into the picture acting out Shakespeare and remember lines (I've only seen the show once, but supposedly this rotates between actors per show).  The interaction with the crowd keeps everyone involved.  This would make a fun date, but I just went with some friends, all who greatly thanked me for the idea of the evenings festivities.

Robin T
9 of 13 found helpful

Its a great night out, talented actors, hilarious, anything could happen.  I've seen a few reviews worried that its like something else out there.  Who cares?  Its an awesome show!!

Jen S
10 of 15 found helpful

I was invited to see the show with a bunch of friends on a rare mommy's night out. I knew I would have fun but I had no idea I'd be laughing quite that hard throughout the show! It was totally entertaining and creative and really funny! It is impossible not to enjoy yourself!

Marc G
8 of 12 found helpful

This is the most original and amusing show going on in NYC at the moment. Perfect for every occasion, including a first date, group of friends - even parents in town. Thou art some fool if you miss this one.  

Caroline N
8 of 12 found helpful

Drunk Shakespeare is a fun romp that combines improv, theater and drinking games! I went with my fiance and had an absolute blast. If you can swing it, definitely try to win the King/Queen auction. You get a really nice bottle of champagne and hold court and change the outcome of the show. So fun! As a avid theater goer in New York, I can't wait to go back for another round at Drunk Shakespeare!

Chloé Z
9 of 14 found helpful

I'm a theatre-going New Yorker and I brought an Army officer from GA who isn't familiar with Shakespeare at all, and we both laughed so hard we cried. Drunk Shakespeare was HYSTERICAL.

It's a famous Shakes play, condensed and performed in a bar, in which one of the actors gets wasted and has to perform the show like that. That actor then adds rules to the play like "Every time this character enters he must remove an article of clothing," or "This actor has to add lesbian subtext to every line she says." The spontaneous improvisational structure makes you feel like you're playing a giant silly game of Kings or Circle of Fire. They involve the audience in thrilling and not corny or predictable ways.

Actor Josh Hyman was in one moment a multitasking Master of Ceremonies, guiding us through the shenanigans, and in the next, jumping through improvised hoops. When a new "drunk point of order" dictated that he perform racist jokes before each scene entrance his discomfort facing the audience was almost as funny as the gold he came up with.

One actor took my friend's phone away and performed a dramatic reading of his tinder messages...

It's so much fun that you really forget these are tremendously talented actors like Louis Sallan able to perform compellingly in verse after 7 shots.

I'll certainly be back. It was worth it just to see the Damyr Shuford take his shirt off. This is my kind of immersive theatre.

Ian R
10 of 16 found helpful

This was the highlight of a trip to New York, I have seen many shows at Edinburgh and in the USA and this was by far the best, funny, clever, amazing interaction and some world class acting. One of the best nights out I have had in recent years and It was like being on the side of the stage at the Globe in London. Can't wait to see it again.

Ian R

3 of 3 found helpful

From out of town and went to the show on a whim.  It was a raucous evening.  Even though the play was a tragedy, MacBeth - it was a joyous experience to see the fun the actors had in bringing it to life through humor and parody.  I can only believe that this is how it all went down in London when the actors in Shakespeare's time went to the pubs after their performances.  Fun farce, audience engagement...yes, I was Queen that night!

Laura H
3 of 3 found helpful

Went a few weeks ago and had an amazing time, highly recommend. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the performance was really witty and clever on top of the slapstick humor.

The actors know their Shakespeare so well that not only can they nail their lines while intoxicated, but they can improvise and insert contextually relevant jokes into complicated Shakespearean text.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope another show comes up soon for us to come see again (we saw Macbeth).

Beware of nay-sayers and slanderers who haven't even seen the show...

Jesse J
3 of 3 found helpful

This show was great-- spontaneous, funny, and a great time. This is Shakespeare made casual and fun for the everyday person and you don't need to be a Shakespeare fan or literary scholar to have a great time at the show. Super talented cast, and was one of the most fun nights out I've had in manhattan recently. Great date show too! Highly recommend!

3 of 3 found helpful

Awesome show! Went last Friday. I’ve seen many versions and performances of Shakespeare (Macbeth in this case)…this was by far the most creative, unexpected, and fun! The show does a great job of taking key elements of the original play and updating it with contemporary references & hilarious improv (the drinking helps too). One of the best X factors is the audience—which the cast does a great job of engaging—it makes the show somewhat unpredictable. Service was also great. I’d highly recommend for a date night or with a group of friends.

Not sure why folks are so upset that this borrows from Shit-faced Shakespeare in the UK: (1) the script/show* is* original and developed specifically for this venue/release, (2) people have been getting sauced and performing Shakespeare since Shakespeare and drinking existed, and (3) people in theater/arts build on existing ideas all the time.

Getting off my soapbox…Regardless, go see this show!

Jack M

"Jack M "

2 of 2 found helpful

Admittedly, I am not a “theater person” but I do like a pint. I won’t go so far as to say as I am now a season ticket holder at The National but Drunk Shakespeare made me enjoy shakespeare and theater.
or if youre into the whole brevity thing
I came. I saw. I drank. I laughed. 

really enjoyed the whole evening and shall be returning when I'm back in New York

Michael M
2 of 2 found helpful

We were visiting New York in early June and went to see this show. This is great entertainment!. The improvisation and audience involvement made it an evening to remember

Bricken S
6 of 10 found helpful

I have seen the show twice and it was wonderful both times. See if you can catch it when Lady M. is Played by Lindsey Hope Pearlman, she is hilarious and can really hold her jamesons. if you have some extra money, it is totally worth it to volunteer to be the "king or queen" of the show. this is a show for Shakespeare lovers but also for those who are a little intimidated by the Bard. It has something for everyone.

6 of 10 found helpful

Entertaining, entertaining, entertaining.  Listen, we all need a good laugh and I got my fill.  Thank you and thank you to all involved. The actors worked their tails off to riotous effect.  And ok, I might have a crush on blondie Lady M.  So?

Heidi W
6 of 10 found helpful

To be or not to be that is the question. whether you're a lover of the arts or just looking for something new and different to add to your mundane bar experience you certainly will be wildly entertained at this interactive ,hilarious modern twist on Shakespeare. Right before your eyes you will Witness one of 5 classically trained Broadway actors Drink and perform with their fellow actors. Adding modern references and including the crowd while you sit back drink, eat and laugh. From the Matthew McConaughey battle to the "beat it" Michael Jackson style knife fight dance off you will be in stitches. I loved this performance it was creative with tons of improv giving each performance you witness a uniqueness all your own .I highly recommend this activity for a date, girls night out , Boys Night Out, Or Friends Looking For Good Drinks, Food And AMAZING Funny Talented Entertainment with flair and a level of hilarity you would never expect from a Shakespeare play!

Shayne H
7 of 12 found helpful

Drunk Shakespeare is one of the most uniquely innovative and entertaining show I’ve seen in years.It makes Shakespeare accessible to the masses by combing the elements of a classic Shakespearian play with hilarious improv and off the wall comedy bits that makes for a fun-filled and rare theater experience.Aside from everyone being able to drink, the actors integrate the audience into the play as well…some even as main characters!You can see it again and again and it will always be a different show.I’ve already seen it twice and plan to go back again soon!

Alec D
7 of 12 found helpful

I saw the show last Saturday and really enjoyed the performance.  Lots of interaction with the crowd and the talented actors delivered a hilarious balance of Shakespeare and alcohol-inspired improv. I had the opportunity to be "King" for the night and enjoyed playing a small part in ensuring inebriation of the main actor. I can't wait to go see the show again!

Ben S
7 of 12 found helpful

Saw the show Friday of opening week. Definitely very funny! I especially appreciated the Shakespearean field sobriety tests for the drunk actor.

Ashley M
5 of 9 found helpful

I was amazed at how great this was! I'm not big on plays like this but went as a birthday celebration and loved it. Definitely something I would do again with other people so they could enjoy it as much as I did.

Sean W
6 of 11 found helpful

Such a great time!! ...going back to see it again. Every moment is a surprise, even for the actors and it all ends up being hysterical and really well done.

Sarah C
8 of 15 found helpful

I've seen the show twice. A different show each time. If you love improv, shakespeare, and the unexpected I can't recommend this show enough.  

A few tips...

Get your drinks (at least 2) at the top of the show. you can order from your seats but this is the way forward.

The show is about 70 mins. 

May not be suitable for people under 15 but we saw KIDS there and the cast did an amazing job of making it a PG-13 show. 

Don't let them see you on your phone or they will use it. It's hilarious but maybe not if it's you. 

It's a hilarious show. 

Eric N
9 of 17 found helpful

My friend told me about this show so I went with my girlfriend and a few friends. It was very engaging right out of the gate. The host, a short schlubby looking man in his late twenties brought energy and focus from the opening minutes. He kept the pace with ease. Mixed with improv (involving audience at times) and scripted shakespeare, this is a joyride the entire way through. In the last scene, one of the female characters, blonde, with sexy appeal, recited Bill Pullman's speech from Independence Day with the music playing in the background, the actor saw me mouthing the lines and took my hand from the chair and brought me to the spotlight where we recited the entire speech together. The audience erupted. That is what is so special about this show, you never know what is going happen, you just know you will enjoy it.

Emie H
9 of 17 found helpful

This was a fun, cool thing to do that could only happen in NYC.  Where else can you drink along with the actors to the musical lyrics of William Shakespeare? Bonus it's hyterical and you don't need to remember the language that Shakespeare used because the actors will translate it for you.  Great night out for singles or date night activity.  Plus is you go back on a different night you will see a different show unfurl as a different actor gets drunk and different people are called.  I would recommend it to anyone!

Rachel M
6 of 12 found helpful

Went on a first date figuring alcohol and a boisterous show could only help.  Not so sure about the guy, but the alcohol and show were great. :)  I went back with a friend another night and enjoyed it even more!  The actors were funny as hell-- both drunk and sober-- both times. 

6 of 12 found helpful

I've seen this show twice and it was great both times! A significant part is improvised, so the two shows were actually substantially different and I laughed just as hard both times, because there was so much new material. Definitely a fun and entertaining night out, with a super energetic and talented cast!!

Sarah W
11 of 22 found helpful

Saw the show! Enjoyed it, was funny and quite good actually although not nearly as funny as Shit-faced Shakespeare.

As these other reviews have said and as I have read elsewhere, this show is definitely a copy. They have made a couple of changes and added a few things (point of order etc) but when it comes down to it this is a direct rip off of the original, and not even an improvement!
Artistic integrity says to avoid this show or at least question the people involved, the whole thing doesn't seem right somehow.

9 of 19 found helpful

I saw Drunk Shakespeare and loved it!  It was fun and the actors were amazing…they seem so young but could totally hold their own in a Shakespearian play with Mark Rylance.  …AND YOU CAN DRINK!

Mike H
9 of 19 found helpful

Truly a great show and a great cast! We've actually been twice, and it was incredibly different both times. If we didn't live in Texas, we'd be back to work our way through the whole company! If you are looking for a fun night out, this is the place to be!

9 of 19 found helpful

This is the most fun project I've ever worked on. As Producer of Drunk Shakespeare, I've seen the show over 30 times now and still enjoying it. Half the show is improvised every night and this amazing cast of professional actors create some of the most hilarious scenes I've ever seen. Who knew acting plus alcohol was such a great combination!

Carrie H
8 of 17 found helpful

At first I was not sure what to expect because of the intimate bar seating - setting but after minutes I was blown away! The cast is such a talented group of actors and really engage the audience. You are on your toes the entire time waiting for more laughs & entertainment. I had to rush back to Miami after but I'd see it again if I were still in NYC because I can only imagine each show is completely different (bc it's semi improve). Thumbs up & must see show!

Lindsey C
6 of 13 found helpful

I had a delightful time at this show last Thursday. The actors are funny and talented, the crowd can be very involved, and the improv aspect was really quite fun. 

A very nice way to spend an evening, and the drink pours are generous. I recommend partaking in the auction at the very first part of the show for the chance to be king or queen. You score primo seats, a bottle of champagne, caviar, and chocolates. 

There were some people in our party who politely had 2 drinks and others who got ridiculous, in the next day recap, we all seemed to enjoy ourselves. 

Joe V
6 of 13 found helpful

Just caught the show in NYC!  It was truly entertaining, and it makes me want to work my way through the whole cast.  The negative reviews here seem to be about the UK production being first, or the original idea.  But really, the reviews should be about whether the show was good or not.  Don't let the misleading 1-star reviews fool you into missing out on a great cast, great show, and a lot of laughs!  Is it a copy?  I don't really care.  Was it entertaining as hell? Yes! 

Karen O
6 of 13 found helpful

This is unlike any other show I've ever seen. 5 actors. 1 gets drunk. Set on the 2nd floor of a bar. No stage. Lots of audience participation. Lots of drinking. Loads of fun.

It's such a shame that so many other reviewers here are rating the show down (without having even seen the show) just because they claim that it is a copy of another show in the UK.

6 of 13 found helpful

Saw this show in NYC. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and well worth a visit. Will probably see it again given the improvisation element makes for unique experiences each time.

Maria I
10 of 22 found helpful

This show was kickstarted on stolen ideas!  The original Shit-faced Shakespeare has been running in the UK for over four years.  The producer of Drunk Shakespeare Scott Griffin saw this show in Edinburgh last year and asked the producers if he could license it.  When he was refused he directly stole design and copy from their website to kickstart his "new idea" and gain public funding for this run in New York.  Scott is not a theatre person, he is a business person and doesn't seem to understand that you shouldn't try to build a reputation for yourself in the arts on stolen ideas (and, even more obviously, directly stolen design and description of ideas!). Friends and fans of the show in the UK are very upset that Scott has done this to the people who have worked hard for over four years to make the original show a success. We have tried to publicise this truth but Scott has been censoring our views on-line.  I'm glad Time Out exists so that we can have our views heard.

7 of 16 found helpful

There is no actual stage, but as Shakespeare puts it "All the world's a stage". This is a highly interactive show, so be prepared to be entertained. The cast performs an interpreted version of Macbeth in 60 minutes, so no need to have read it. There are two sets of casts. I saw it twice and it was a different cast each time. The improv for both shows are also different based on Drunk Points of Order, in which the drunk actor gives directions to the cast to incorporate into their performance (such as tell a joke every time before your part). Crazy but fun. Also one actor always takes off his shirt. If you didn't see the cast that had the six pack (tallest guy there), go back and see it again. The cast flirts with the audience so if you don't want to participate, don't make eye contact and vice versa. You will get some laughs for sure, but if you didn't, do what one of the actor did, have a few more drinks and you'll soon be giggling and forgetting lines. Great talented cast!

7 of 16 found helpful

I saw Drunk Shakespeare and loved it!  It was fun and the actors were amazing…they seem so young but could totally hold their own in a Shakespearian play with Mark Rylance.  …AND YOU CAN DRINK!

Amy H
6 of 15 found helpful

This show is a riot! Simply put: if you like to laugh, go see it. Combine a talented cast, renowned literary works, improv comedy, audience participation, some boozy beverages, and occasionally partial nudity, and that is only a slice of all that is Drunk Shakespeare. The actors do a great job of explaining the show and making it fun for patrons who aren’t so familiar with the written works. Plus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an evening of fun in New York like this at a better price. Will definitely be going back many more times!

Rebecca S
6 of 15 found helpful

This show features puppets, ukulele, folk dancing, Mandarin Chinese, and Bill Pullman.  How does that fit with Shakespeare?  Who cares, because you're drinking!  Basically, the whole thing is hilarious.  I have actually taken friends back to see it multiple times.

Tina B
3 of 9 found helpful

Really bad from what I understand, the producer is a thief!

Sarah W
9 of 22 found helpful

Saw the show! Enjoyed it, was funny and quite good actually although not nearly as funny as Shit-faced Shakespeare.

As these other reviews have said and as I have read elsewhere, this show is definitely a copy. They have made a couple of changes and added a few things (point of order etc) but when it comes down to it this is a direct rip off of the original, and not even an improvement!
Artistic integrity says to avoid this show or at least question the people involved, the whole thing doesn't seem right somehow.

poop p
5 of 14 found helpful

I heard the producer of this show stole the idea from a company in the UK and that there are legal proceedings underway.  I don't understand why this is allowed to happen.  It's a sad state of affairs for the arts that producers think it's okay to exploit others creativity.

Helen F
3 of 10 found helpful

A real shame that this idea has been stolen. I saw the original creators of this show perform this 4 years ago at Secret Garden Party and saw them last night at the Brighton Fringe. So wrong that an original and creative idea can be stolen so blatantly and openly!

Frasier W
1 of 6 found helpful

I just saw the original and brilliant Shit-faced Shakespeare at the Brighton Fringe in the UK and there were a lot of people talking about a copycat group in the US, which I guess is this show.  I've heard this producer asked for the rights of the show and when refused, did it anyway.  It's a real shame for the hard working actors I saw in Brighton to have mercenary producers ride off their success.  If you're going to spend your money on theatre, please don't support crooks like Scott Griffin!

Daniel C
7 of 19 found helpful

I am really saddened that this show is a direct rip off of another existing successful UK show. Whilst I'm glad that audiences are enjoying it it seems entirely unfair that the real creators of this show are not receiving their due credit.

Gloria S
0 of 5 found helpful

This show is a rip off of an original production in the UK.  Don't support this thief producer Scott Griffin as he rides roughshod over the intellectual property of others.

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