Tag Archives: Leicester Square Theatre

SH!T-FACED A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

★★★★

Leicester Square Theatre

SH!T-FACED A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Leicester Square Theatre

★★★★

“With the actors all multi-rolling throughout the run, each performance feels fresh – packed with improv and lightning quick reactions”

Sh!tfaced Shakespeare is, by now, a well-known commodity. This year marks their eleventh year at Edinburgh Fringe, their fourteenth year as a company and firms them as a staple of the Leicester Square Theatre. I’ve been to several of these shows and they’re always a riot. It’s silly and hyper-sexualised and sometimes barely Shakespeare but it’s always a great night out.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream works well paired with chaotic drunken energy and lustful thrusting. It’s what the Bard would’ve wanted.

The concept is simple. It’s a straight(ish) Shakespeare play, but one actor is very drunk. Chaos and hilarity ensues.

It doesn’t rely entirely on the gimmick. There were laughs beyond the drunken actor, with quick improv and some clever word play in the scripted moments. Though obviously the most fun is had with the person who’s ‘sh!tfaced’.

What stops these shows from being unbearably cringey is the chemistry between the performers. There’s real love there, and this felt particularly true for this performance. Beth Louise Priestly was drunk, and consistently slipped into using the actors’ real names, usually to say how much she loved them. They feel like a group of loving pals, whom it’s fun to watch have fun. They’re also all very funny.

With the actors all multi-rolling throughout the run, each performance feels fresh – packed with improv and lightning quick reactions. Julia Bird doesn’t lean too much into the pixie realm as Puck, she is full of laddish energy and bawdy one-liners. Stacey Norris is a hilariously tragic Helena and James Murfitt is a gloriously mischievous Oberon. Charlie Keable can barely keep a straight face as he whips out pun after pun and Eugene Evans plays a delightfully strait-laced Demetrius with an impressive codpiece. Natalie Boakye holds it all together as a joyous and energetic compare – who still manages to have an eye out for health and safety (and the run time).

With a show that’s different every night, packed full of ridiculous over the top fun, you could go to this every night and not get bored.


SH!T-FACED A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Leicester Square Theatre

Reviewed on 18th July 2024

by Auriol Reddaway

Photography by Andrew AB Photography

 


 

 

Previously reviewed at this venue:

RACHEL PARRIS: POISE | ★★★★ | June 2024
SH!T-FACED SHOWTIME: A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | November 2023
THE AYES HAVE IT! THE AYES HAVE IT! | ★★★★ | November 2023
SH!T-FACED SHAKESPEARE®: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | ★★★★★ | July 2023
SHIT-FACED SHAKESPEARE: ROMEO & JULIET | ★★★★ | July 2022
A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | December 2021
SH!T-FACED MACBETH | ★★★★★ | July 2021

SH!T-FACED

SH!T-FACED

Click here to see our Recommended Shows page

 

RACHEL PARRIS: POISE

★★★★

Leicester Square Theatre

RACHEL PARRIS: POISE at Leicester Square Theatre

★★★★

“a clever and entertaining evening”

Rachel Parris hits a lot of classic millennial comedy topics: home ownership, tackling anxiety, the pressures of female perfection. But she does so with a slick confidence, and a consistency which makes her stand up shine.

Her freshest, sharpest jokes are in her patches of satire, as fans of The Mash Report will attest. In Poise she combines topical comedy (maybe national service could be utilised to tackle the childcare crisis) with some bits which are obviously older, her last tour was five years ago. Songs about Liz Truss and the queues at Dover are less topical now, but are still funny, and bring a warm nostalgia to the show.

Her particular brand of comic feminist song brought her prevalence on podcasts like The Guilty Feminist and these work well live, weaved into the whole show. She sits at the piano, belting out memorable songs like ‘What do Women Want?’ (Parris suggests it’s gloves…) and her take on the iconography of the Bond girl, which is a showstopping end to the night.

It’s not only politics though. Parris lays her trepidation about turning 40 bare – admitting her life is in a far better place than on her last tour. She is used to putting her personal life on display, she’s married to fellow comic Marcus Brigstocke, with whom she has a podcast ‘How Was it For You?’ But this show is carefully crafted, allowing the audience windows into her life, without ever going too deep, or baring too much.

Some parts are stronger than others, an a cappella folk number about the wisdom she’s gained with age is a weird note towards the end, though ties the themes together neatly.

There could be more of an overarching story across the show, but as a series of bits, broken up by comic songs which showcase her impressive vocal skills, this makes for a clever and entertaining evening.


RACHEL PARRIS: POISE at Leicester Square Theatre

Reviewed on 5th June 2024

by Auriol Reddaway

Photography by Karla Gowlett

 

Rachel Parris is touring with Poise until 20th October – click on the image below for tour dates and tickets

 

 


 

Previously reviewed at this venue:

SH!T-FACED SHOWTIME: A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | November 2023
THE AYES HAVE IT! THE AYES HAVE IT! | ★★★★ | November 2023
SH!T-FACED SHAKESPEARE®: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | ★★★★★ | July 2023
SHIT-FACED SHAKESPEARE: ROMEO & JULIET | ★★★★ | July 2022
A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | December 2021
SH!T-FACED MACBETH | ★★★★★ | July 2021

RACHEL PARRIS

RACHEL PARRIS

Click here to see our Recommended Shows page