Shit-faced Showtime: The Pirates of Penzance

The actors in Shit-Faced Showtime have a lot to deal with, a drunk member of their cast, remembering their lines, singing in tune, playing the piano and also dealing with drunk, annoying members of the audience. Even though the show is only an hour they must be exhausted and very glad to get to that last song and drink a well deserved can of Stella.

See this show again with one of the other actors drunk, you're likely to come away with an entirely different experience; but one that will I'm sure always leave you chortling.

It's a premise that is surely every actor's nightmare, one of your cast members is drunk, can't remember their lines and at times wants to sing Defying Gravity from Wicked rather than backing for I Am The Very Model (Of A Modern Major General). But this is a model that Magnificent Bastard productions have turned to gold. It turns out that people want to watch a drunk actor on stage – who doesn't want to laugh at someone who can't remember their words, frequently tries to take their clothes off, falls over and is then forced to drink more? And it helps that the drunk actor tonight is very funny and a talented improviser with the gift of the gab. I'm guessing at the auditions the casting director has to weed out the morose drunks who want to sit on the floor crying or constantly phoning ex-lovers.

You can't help but wonder how drunk they are and our drunken actor was clearly hamming it up, but that's exactly what this audience want. We are shown that the actor has drunk two bottles of wine and two members of the audience are given a xylophone and a recorder to blow at any point when they feel the actor might be sobering up and at this point he then has to down a bottle of Becks. I was eternally grateful that I was not sitting in the front row and did not have to hold the vomit bucket and wondered all evening whether any of the actors had ever thrown up and some poor audience member had had to catch it.

Pirates Of Penzance is not why you go and see this show – although clearly the actor musicians were talented and kept the show going at all costs, dealing with whatever was thrown at them (a rubber fish at one point). You go and see this show to watch a drunk actor embellish the show, but Pirates Of Penzance is a good choice – with it's quick changes, dance routines, tongue twister lyrics and some cross dressing it all adds to the chaos. It's a winning formula that will continue to get in a new audience every night. See this show again with one of the other actors drunk, you're likely to come away with an entirely different experience; but one that will I'm sure always leave you chortling.

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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Shit-faced Showtime® is the all new, all singing, all dancing, all drinking show from Magnificent Bastard Productions. This original show combines the very best of harmonious Broadway with a healthy dose of fermented barley. www.magnificentbastard.co.uk

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