Broadway Baby

Glengarry Ross tickets

Shit-faced Shakespeare is the Fringe favourite combination of high theatre and falling-down drunkenness. Six actors play a reduced version of a Shakespeare play (in this case, romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing). But one of the actors has had far too much to drink.

It is, in short, a production of Shit-faced Shakespeare, and an excellent one.

It’s a simple concept, and one that lives or dies on the back of the night’s drunkard, a role that is rotated for health, as well as novelty. I saw Beth-Louise Priestley, playing Hero while struggling to remember, or care about, her lines. I’ve seen productions of Shit-faced where I wondered how drunk the actor really was. That was not the case with Priestley. Though the drunk antics are always somewhat trumped up, her genuine insobriety made the show genuinely funny, as she mistook an audience member for Santa Claus and twerked to the transition music.

Just as important is the skill with which the sober cast members adapt as the play goes off script, and the quick-witted Magnificent Bastards (that’s what the company’s called) prove you don’t need to drink to have fun. They improvise in Shakespearean English, not just working back to the script, but working in their own jokes. “I’ll have you, my dear,” Claudio says, having finally convinced Hero to marry him, “though I can see you’re bat shit crazy.” If I struggled to see, it was because I was doubled-over with laughter.

There are some new bells and whistles. A video sequence, lampooning the life of the Bard, opens the show. And the set is more elaborate than usual, with a couple fun tricks. Otherwise, the production retains tried-and-true elements from past shows. Two audience members are given the power to give the drinker another round, while a third holds a bucket…just in case. Audience participation is expanded in the role of Margaret, plucked from the audience to engage in ribald action with the villainous Don John. But costumes are the same brand of historic-silliness and the music, somber string versions of pop songs, expands on the mix of reverence and irreverence.

It is, in short, a production of Shit-faced Shakespeare, and an excellent one. Importantly, it’s not the show that will be going to the Brighton and Edinburgh fringes, so your enjoyment of it now will not undermine a viewing at the cheaper fringe venues. Go because you enjoy Shakespeare, go because you love intoxicated revelry, or go for the magical meeting of the two.


14th Apr 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
15th Apr 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
21st Apr 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
22nd Apr 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
28th Apr 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
29th Apr 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
5th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
6th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
12th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
13th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
19th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
20th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
26th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
27th May 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
2nd Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
3rd Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
9th Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
10th Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
16th Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
17th Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
23rd Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
24th Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
30th Jun 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
1st Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
7th Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
8th Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
14th Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
15th Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
21st Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
22nd Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
28th Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
29th Jul 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
4th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
5th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
11th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
12th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
18th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
19th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
25th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
26th Aug 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
1st Sep 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
2nd Sep 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
8th Sep 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
9th Sep 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
15th Sep 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom
16th Sep 20177:00pmLeicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, United Kingdom

The Blurb

Much Ado About Nothing is possibly Shakespeare’s most well loved romantic comedy, filled with mistaken identities, petty arguments and put-downs, and the course of love not running smoothly (not least of all because friends keep interfering). Sounds like a Friday night in any British boozer. But what if Hero decides she really would rather marry the chap in the second row, or if Benedick can’t stand up?



The Mousetrap tickets