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.

Reviews by Lou Rogers

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Performances

Location

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