Tag Archives: Natalie Boakye



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
THE AYES HAVE IT! THE AYES HAVE IT! | ★★★★ | November 2023
A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | December 2021
SH!T-FACED MACBETH | ★★★★★ | July 2021



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Ghosted – Another F**king Christmas Carol


The Other Palace





“It is a rib-tickling celebration of queer culture. The Play That Goes Wrong meets Queer Eye, with a sprinkling of Have I Got News For You”


‘Tis the season of way too many Dickens adaptations, but as you can most likely tell by the subtitle, “Another F***ing Christmas Carol,” this is very much not a standard version of the Christmas classic.

Written by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper and directed by Andrew Beckett, the team behind the celebrated adult pantomimes for Above The Stag Theatre, Ghosted may just be my favourite festive show of the year. Hilariously self-aware, it was set firmly in 2022, with pop culture references, political jokes and many, many references to queer culture.

It begins with three carol singers in period dress, holding traditional, Victorian style lanterns. They start singing a beautiful carol, until they are interrupted by Bobbi Cratchitt (played with incredible comic timing by Nikki Biddington), running in late, through the audience, wearing a bright Christmas jumper and reindeer antlers. This riotous beginning brings the story into the present and sets the tone for the whole piece. When the carol singers get chatting about their terrible boss stories (very relatable – we all have one!), Bobbi Cratchitt begins to tell us about Eloisa Scrooge (Natalie Boakye) and three queer ghosts (all hysterically camp, played by Christopher Lane) who give her a makeover on Christmas Eve. The rest of the story loosely follows the plot of A Christmas Carol, with a few surprise twists and turns.

The cast is made up of just four people, switching effortlessly between all the characters, and every member was as strong and hilarious as the rest. Although a standout moment for me was Liam McHugh, switching between playing a mother and son in the same scene. A fantastic ensemble with brilliant chemistry, who all had stunning singing voices. Their creative and sweary updates on classic Christmas carols were sung beautifully, with gorgeous harmonies, along with a hefty dose of F words, and even a few C bombs… it is certainly not a show to bring the children along!

The set (designer David Shields) is a purely white room, with very few props (Isla Rose) or set pieces, meaning a small amount of imagination was required. The costume design was very much the same, a couple of key items for the quick changes between the characters. But there were many jokes made of this, and it became a running gag throughout the piece. Paper chain decorations became the chains around “Jacob Rees-Marley”, and with a few subtle lighting (Oli Matthews) and sound effects (Joel Mulley), the stage became an office, a flat, a dining room, a beach, and even a nightclub smoking area.

It is a rib-tickling celebration of queer culture. The Play That Goes Wrong meets Queer Eye, with a sprinkling of Have I Got News For You – heart-warming, without being sickly sweet – it is exactly what is needed in the current climate, and I didn’t stop laughing throughout.



Reviewed on 2nd December 2022

by Suzanne Curley

Photography by Mark Senior


Previously reviewed at this venue:

Millennials | ★★★ | July 2022
Glory Ride | ★★★ | November 2022


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