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Shit-faced Showtime: Oliver With a Twist! -3 Stars

Oliver

Shit-faced Showtime: Oliver With a Twist!

Leicester Square Theatre

Reviewed – 5th September 2018

★★★

“an excellent format for a boozy night out with friends”

 

Continuing their now regular slot at the Leicester Square theatre, the Sh*t-Faced Showstoppers have swapped the boozy bard for drunken Dickens. If you haven’t heard of this now notorious troupe, five actors take to the stage to perform a classical theatre piece. The only catch is that one of them is very drunk. The group are most well-known for their take on Shakespeare classics; however this version of the Dickens musical drew just as big a crowd as most of their shows.

As you can imagine, or may well know, these shows are loose and riotous. The theatre itself has four bars, and it took fifteen minutes after the scheduled start time for the audience to move from the bar into their seats. The tacky set design with window etchings such as ‘Dickolas Dickleby woz ere’ further indicated what the audience were to expect. Indeed, what this group have created is an excellent format for a boozy night out with friends. The atmosphere in the room before the show was excitable, and the audience were free to shout and get involved. I was seated with beer in hand ready for whatever carnage may unfold.

The general consensus in the room was that most people enjoyed it, which was clear from the general hysteria in the room. Sadly, for me, I rather felt like the only sober person at a party full of jolly and drunk acquaintances. The drunken actor, playing Oliver Twist, slurred plenty of lines and went off on ludicrous tangents, speaking to the audience about subjects that had nothing to do with the play. It was a controlled mess which most people loved, however I felt rather short changed. Aside from the one inebriated actor, there wasn’t much to enjoy. The show appeared to be framed in a way that tailored best to the drunken actor, with short and simplified scenes that had plenty of room to allow them to be as silly as they want. Perhaps if it was the other way round, and the actor had to navigate themselves through a very tight-knit and nuanced show, I would have found it more entertaining.

The company has a unique premise, and indeed a crop of great talent. Their format has already achieved great success and looks as if it will continue to do so. If you are someone looking for a funny night out with friends, maybe a cultural pit-stop before a big night out, get yourself a ticket. If you are a theatre fan looking a comedic spin on some of your favourite shows, and you decide to go, maybe have a few drinks before.

 

Reviewed by Edward Martin

Photography by Rah Petherbridge

 


Shit-faced Showtime: Oliver With a Twist!

Leicester Square Theatre until 9th September

 

Related
Sh*t-faced Shakespeare reviews
The Merchant of Venice | ★★★★ | April 2018
Romeo and Juliet | ★★★★ | June 2018

 

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