Sh!t-faced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet - MICF 2023 (VIC)
Presented by A-List Entertainment.
Reviewed by Justin Clarke
Forum Melbourne - Downstairs
Until 23rd April, 2023
- Come for the Shakespeare, stay for the shitfaced hilarity -
To reduce the risk of harm from Shakespeare-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should indulge in no more than ten standard Shakespearean events a week and no more than four standard Shakespearean events on any one day. If you choose to partake in the consumption of Shakespeare this Melbourne comedy season, ensure it is undertaken responsibly and under the watchful eye of the performers in Sh!t-faced Shakespeare.
All the way from the UK, Sh!t-faced Shakespeare has arrived to bring you a hilariously abridged hour of one of the Bard’s most loved plays, Romeo and Juliet. The concept of Sh!t-faced Shakespeare is inherently simple: the Shakespearean trained performers have rehearsed a shortened version of Romeo and Juliet to perform, all except one are entirely sober. The poor besotted performer who is inebriated is royally shitfaced and released onto the stage to wreak havoc. Two audience members are gifted a gong to ring at any point they see the performer becoming too sober, and the compère is left to ensure the drunkard doesn’t degrade themselves too much on stage.
The concept of drunken Shakespeare is not entirely new, and each production of this idea has its own unique spin. All the performers are drunk, the audience are drunk, two performers are drunk and so on. Sh!t-faced Shakespeare takes the concept and places it in a superbly hilarious staging akin to the likes of Mischief Theatre. The performers around the blotted actor are left to work around the mishaps and keep the show from derailing entirely.
In this production, it was poor Juliet who was given the flask and she did not disappoint. Armed with an accent not too dissimilar to The Only Way is Essex, she keeps the other actors on their toes as she becomes outraged at the flimsy balcony that is merely a sheet over a clothes rack, swings a bed around singing Aladdin’s ‘A Whole New World’ and drops the only word they’re not allowed to say: hint it rhymes with "punt".
This particular performance was AUSLAN interpreted, which Juliet saw to have fun with, particularly in how to interpret sexual innuendos. Massive applause has to go to the interpreter for being able to keep up with the swiftly derailing antics on stage.
Whilst the large space of the Forum gave the performers plenty of room to play around in, this particular style of Shakespeare is more effective when in a smaller space, giving tension to things going awry and making for more intimate comedy with the audience. Despite this however, the audience this evening were truly wetting themselves with the antics right from the beginning.
Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or not, there is something glorious about performers blurring the lines between rehearsed and improvised chaos comedy. This is depraved hilarity at its finest. You could see this show every night and each night a different inebriated performer would bring something new to swing the production of its hinges.
Come for the Shakespeare, stay for the shitfaced hilarity. Please note, Shakespeare may cause temporary giddiness and slurred speech, it may also cause irreparable damage to the rift between two households, both alike in dignity.
Wed - Sun $44.90
Wed - Sun $39.90
All Tix $39.90
Fri 14 Apr & Sat 15 Apr: 9.30pm;
Sun 16 Apr: 6.45pm;
Tue 18 Apr - Thu 20 Apr: 7.45pm;
Fri 21 Apr & Sat 22 Apr: 9.30pm;
Sun 23 Apr: 6.45pm
Forum Melbourne - Downstairs, 154 Flinders St, Melbourne
AUSLAN: Thu 13 Apr: 7.45pm
Forum Melbourne - Downstairs
154 Flinders St,