Shit-faced Showtime: Oliver with a Twist

Beginning with an amusing introduction from the on-stage showrunner, Shit-faced Showtime: Oliver With A Twist sets out its premise. Essentially, five professionally trained musical theatre actors rehearse an hour long adaptation of a musical (in this case, you guessed it, Oliver Twist) and then, before they perform it, one of them gets completely drunk. On top of this, if he or she ever appears to be starting to sober up, or even just if the audience feels like it, another drink is supplied. The result? One increasingly innebriated individual has to try and stumble their way through an entire production, no matter the concequences.

Rowdy, rude, and flat out fun

Intrigued? Perhaps you would also be slightly apprehensive if I were to tell you about the pre-show announcement warning anyone who hasn’t yet been to the loo that if they do, there’s a chance they’ll be heckled by the cast. Or better yet, the sick bucket handed out to someone in the front row, just in case…well, I’m sure you can imagine. But don’t worry, part of the fun is in the unpredictability of the show, as this gives it the one-night-only spontaneity of live improvisation, usually with very comedic results. (Plus, when I saw it, no one threw up.)

Surprisingly though, this unpredictability doesn’t extend to the choreography, which the drunk in question managed remarkably well under the circumstances. He blanked on a few lines and decided to remix his solo whilst singing it, but never managed to add anything but hilarity to the proceedings. This was partially because of the cast’s vital ability to think on their feet, allowing them to turn even the most inconsequential slip into something worth laughing at.

It isn’t the funniest show in the world, with the drunken individual not always being present on stage, but it does offer guaranteed enjoyment, because even when he isn’t performing, there is excellent singing and some familiar showtunes to pass the time. Rowdy, rude, and flat-out fun, Shit-faced Showtime is a fantastic way to spend your night out, something the legions of returning audiences would undoubtably attest to.

Reviews by Monica Yell

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The Blurb

From the pissheads behind hit show Shit-Faced Shakespeare comes this cockney knees-up musical extravaganza. 'Oliver with a Twist' is Dickens' classic tale of the boy who asked for more, with booze glorious booze. Featuring West End hits and highly unpredictable behaviour. With one cast member who’s gotta sink a bottle or two before curtain-up, what could possibly go right? So down your gin and consider yourself well in! "A hot mess of a musical. I haven’t laughed more at any other comedy to date" **** (The Metro). "Professionals butcher a classic" ***** (West End Wilma).

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