Lewis Ironside is the director of Shit-faced Shakespeare, everyone's favourite inebriated classical theatre series, returning to the Fringe for the fifth year with a run at the Underbelly. We sent Features Editor James T Harding to... get him drunk via email.
We cut out all the bad bits of the original and basically theere was only an hour or so left...
Tell us about the show.
Shit-faced Shakepseare is an entirely seriosu Shajkepseare play with one entirely shit-faced Actor. We take a titally new Shakepsepare play every year and reduce it down to tabout an hour and then add a randon drunken cat member. Everyone esle is sober as a judge in an operation Yewtre trial and just have to get on with the show as best as posisb/le ... It;s great. WE're all professional sHaekspeare types who do proper SHakespeare on the side and the oportunity to do it infront of people while a bit " tired and emotional" isbrilliant.
How do you decide which cast member will get shitfaced each night?
There's a big OLe buckety in the house that we share and everones name is int the bucket four time s each. WE pick the mane out of the hat 5 hours before te show and that person has to staRT DRINKINg. IF you were drinking t e night before then you have the nightoff from the show altogether.,.. Every cast mermber of the show actually plays 2 seperarte roles inthe plasy and this meands that we're constantly rotating roles. Last year we never perfomerd two shows at Edinburgh with the exact saem actors in the exact same roles wioth the exact same drunk. there's hundreds of combinations and it's genuinely different every night....
Shitfaced is in its fifth year now... are there any cast members who've been in it from the beginning? What are their livers like?
Yes we have 2 cast members who've surtvived since the very first show! (That perfomrance was only 15 minutes long oweing to a small intervention from some paramedics.... nobody importnatn died) We're a very msmalll company and some of us hav e been performing, working and druinking together for over 11 years. This year we're delighted to intorduce 3 new cast members who're brand new to Edinburgh. To the best on my knowledge we all still have our original livers,
How have you gone about reducing The Two Gentlemen of Verona into a Fringe running slot? How do you make sure the show doesn't overrun?
We cut out all the bad bits of the original and basically theere was only an hour or so left... seriuosly though it;s Shkepseare's first platy and its not his best... Check Wikipedia! It's widely considered to be his worst comedy so we thought it was utterly perfect for the Shit-faced Treatement. We strip the show down tothe really funny bits and the main plot points. If you know th eorignial play you may be surporised with what we've been able to do with it. We;'ve even created a brand new character in the play called Launcetta... Don't worry thoough, she still has a dog called Crab.
To stop the show overrunning we have a large sandtimer on stage and we've og tot get through the show before that runs out... it's often very close and tends to get veryv quick towartds the end of the show,
Which is your favorite Shakespeare play and why?
Not Two Gentlemen of #Veona ... it's rubbish. Except for our version which us bloody brilloiabnt, I'm a big fan of anything with alot of either crossdressing or death.... Twelfthness and Cressida, The MAcbeath of Venice, Titus You like it.... Actually that last one sounds more like a porno.... which sometimes also ionclude crossdressing... not normally death though.
What was the question?
Apart from lack of shitfacedness, what trend in modern Shakespeare productions would you change and why?
Kenneth Braghna! Smug, lipless bastard...