Shit-faced Shakespeare: Macbeth

We are greeted by host, James Murfitt, who arrives dressed in sparkly trousers and a disco ball top hat, and explains that the show might be a little “illegal, illicit, illogical”. He is suave and loud and picks on the audience. “Who’d like to bang for me and who’d like to blow for me?”, Murfitt passes a horn and a gong to two audience members and explains the rules they must follow in order to get the actor more drunk, if a fatal sobering-up occurs. A warning is announced, the front row is officially the “vom zone”. From the get-go there is a sense of naughtiness in the air. The play begins and we scan from actor to actor, attempting to guess which is the drunken one, when Lady Macbeth arrives and slurs “Put your hands up if you’ve got breasts?”.

The performance descends into chaos and we revel in the mischief.

The piece is true to Macbeth’s history and set in Scotland. We experience this through tartan and bagpipes, with bog standard fancy dress shop costumes and a simple painted backdrop. It has a feeling of a school play with a certain, sweet charm to it. The witches are fun, clad in gross halloween masks and odd wedding veils. The performance is smattered with hilarious short cuts, such as the famous dagger dangling from a fishing rod, and Macduffs son Fleance played by a large barbie taped to a remote control car. Poor Joe from the audience is pulled onto the stage and coerced into becoming the scary assassinator of Fleance. The audience participation is brilliantly led by Oliver Towse, who kills me with his brilliant improvising.

Macbeth, played by John Mitton and Banquo, played by Louise Lee have a solid rapport and speak the intricate text boldly and clearly. The cast as a whole are incredibly strong. They’re confident with the script which allows them relax into the fun, improv style of the piece. Each of them respond to the drunken and spontaneous Lady Macbeth, Maryam Grace, playfully and totally in character (Shakespeare verse and all!). Grace accidentally calls the actors by their real names which clearly takes them by surprise, much to our delight. I’d like to see Mitton play Macbeth in a straight Shakespeare play. He’s powerful and likeable.

Maryam Grace, as Lady Macbeth, is highly pissed and it is so fun to witness. She’s flirty, happy go lucky and disruptive. She interjects into scenes she’s not supposed to be in and says exactly what she wants and it is welcomed. She propositions both Macbeth and Macduff to sex, and snitches on the director as she says, “We were meant to have pyrotechnics for this bit but couldn’t afford it”. She is in fact so mischievous, the techies have to turn her mic off. Macduff enters for his battle with Macbeth, and Grace shows him up immediately with “Who’s this twat?”. Murfitt does well to guide the piece, and is constantly alert in an attempt to reign Grace in, yet maintain the tipsiness. Despite his efforts, the performance descends into chaos and we revel in the mischief.

Reviews by Faye Butler

The Warren: The Hat

Shit-faced Shakespeare: Macbeth

★★★★
The Warren: The Hat

Late Night Gimp Fight: 10 Years Still Broke

★★★★
The Warren: The Burrow / The Warren: The Nest

Hot Mess: Bezzie Mates

★★★
The Warren: The Blockhouse

From The Cradle To The Bin

★★★
The Warren: The Nest

HoneyBee

★★★★
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

Bryony Kimmings: I'm a Phoenix, Bitch

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Is this a lager I see before me? The Brighton Fringe – Best Comedy – Award Winners are back for another round of heavy drinking and mild Shakespeare. Featuring the finest classically trained professional performers and one fully inebriated cast member we guarantee that no two nights are ever the same. Having toured the world, broken America and sold out the West End we’re finally ready to return to a tent in a field in Brighton. This year we are taking on the feared “Scottish play” which actors dare not mention the name of lest theyMACBETH!!! We’re doing Macbeth. It’s Macbeth... Macbeth.

Most Popular See More

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets