Tag Archives: Sh!t Theatre

Sh!t-faced Shakespeare® Much Ado About Nothing.

Sh!t-faced Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing


Leicester Square Theatre



 Sh!t-faced Shakespeare® Much Ado About Nothing.

“It is utterly chaotic, but that’s the glory of it”


A staple of the Edinburgh fringe, the premise of Sh!t-faced Shakespeare is simple: it’s a traditional Shakespeare performance (with liberties taken for comic purposes, of course) where one performer is, for want of a better word, sh*t-faced. That performer rotates every night, as do the cast, and the roles. No two performances will ever be the same…

Don’t go to this if you’re expecting a genuine production of Much Ado, it’s more like a crazed improvised performance, with chunks of Shakespeare loosely hanging it together.

Luckily, the sober performers are also packing in the gags and the quick improv. There is a risk with the concept that when the drunk performer isn’t on stage, the audience is left merely watching a Shakespeare play, and maybe not a great performance of it. However, this is not the case with this troupe – a running bit about Benedick having chlamydia, quick one-liners about choir boys and priests, dragging an audience member into the fray – this cast (and director Stacey Norris) know what they’re doing and do it well.

It is utterly chaotic, but that’s the glory of it. When things go wrong (and they do, often) it is part of the fun. Mics cut out, parts of the set (designed by Nicola Jones) are thrown from the stage, costumes fall apart, it all makes it more ridiculous, and more joyous.

A crucial role is played by the compare, for us it was Beth-Louise Priestley, who is on hand to keep the show ticking over, much to the horror of the drunk performer (Flora Sowerby) who seems mostly to want to monologue about the beauty of beards. Priestley runs around, mopping up spills, gathering Sowerby back from the audience, where she’s escaped, and blowing an air horn when things get too messy. There are times when this isn’t enough, and the chaos takes over, people talking over one another and all aiming to grab the spotlight. Most of the time though, it works well. Very well.

Sowerby shines as a drunk Beatrice, but the rest of the cast are also very strong. Holly Durkin and Matthew Seager make a very sweet Hero and Claudio, and Chris Lane is a deliciously evil Don John. John Mitton is a particularly quick Benedick, who manages to keep character, even while delivering witty one-liners. Stacey Norris delights as Leonata, bringing a real joy and feminist flavour to a usually boring part.

7pm is quite early for this sort of show, it feels like it could’ve been in a later slot, but no one seems to mind and the roars from the audience demonstrate that even on a Wednesday at 7pm, people are very up for this.


Reviewed on 12th July 2023

by Auriol Reddaway

Photography by AB Photography


Leicester Sqaure Theatre


Previously reviewed at this venue:


Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet | ★★★★ | July 2022
A Pissedmas Carol | ★★★★★ | December 2021
Sh!t-Faced Macbeth | ★★★★★ | July 2021


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Sh!t Actually


Camden People’s Theatre

Sh!t Actually

Sh!t Actually

Camden People’s Theatre

Reviewed – 5th December 2019



“A bit mad, a bit radical, wholly enjoyable, Sh!t Actually is a welcome antidote to all of the sugary holiday fluff”


In 2003, Britain’s smash holiday hit Love Actually rocketed onto the list of the world’s favourite Christmas films, landing among big hitters such as The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As the most recent of these classic films, it’s surprising to watch how poorly the starry, treacle-sweet Love Actually has aged. In the last few years, the film has been called out repeatedly for the blatant sexism that defines almost every storyline: from Colin Firth’s character falling in love with his Portuguese maid who can’t talk to him, to Hugh Grant’s “chubby” but nevertheless sexy secretary, whose weight is a running gag. In the post-MeToo era, Love Actually has become problematic, if not downright cringe, viewing.

Sh!t Theatre, who’ve had recent success at Edinburgh and the Soho Theatre with their 2019 show Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats, are back this holiday season to roast the nation’s well-loved Christmas classic. If you’ve been to a Sh!t Theatre show before, you’ll know the pair of performance artists, Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole, combine a variety of theatrical elements in their distinct comedy style, including video, singing, dancing, silly costumes, and alcohol for the audience.

Biscuit and Mothersole are very funny in this scorching satire. In just fifty-five minutes, they recap the film, highlighting the creepy, the bad, and the worse in Love Actually’s love stories. How romantic is it, actually, when we discover the man who’s always rude to Keira Knightley’s character is secretly obsessed with her, and films her without her knowledge? Is it really romantic to chase a girl you’ve never spoken to through the airport? Although many of the points in the show, and even a fair few of the jokes, aren’t original – much of the content seems to draw quite heavily from a 2013 Jezebel article written by Lindy West – the framing of it as performance art is uniquely entertaining, and Biscuit and Mothersole add their own attacks.

From the number of ‘true love’ stories involving two people who’ve never talked to each other, to the relentless roll-neck jumpers, no element of Love Actually is left unscathed. Biscuit and Mothersole make excellent use of video, playing clips from the film with alternate subtitles, alternate music, and interspersed with external clips: Alan Rickman as Snape makes a particularly hilarious appearance. One warning, however: there are several clips of graphic porn, which may make Sh!t Actually one of the least family-friendly Christmas shows in London this year.

There’s also brief nudity during Biscuit and Mothersole’s costume changes. The nudity, as well as the nude bodysuits the two wear, is an apt feminist statement. In opposition to Love Actually, which objectifies, fetishises, and ridicules its female bodies, Biscuit and Mothersole make a visual argument for body positivity. In the background, scenes from the film play, while in the foreground we see real women’s bodies, displayed deliberately and autonomously in dissent. Biscuit and Mothersole rebel against the toxic ideology on the screen using their bodies and voices – loud singing, dancing, and energetic physical comedy – to protest the misogynist fantasy of quiet, highly-sexualised women Love Actually exemplifies.

A bit mad, a bit radical, wholly enjoyable, Sh!t Actually is a welcome antidote to all of the sugary holiday fluff, and the insidious sexism seeping through ‘heart-warming’ Christmas films. There should be no room in 2019 for a film that argues love means winning sexy women, with whom you’ve never had a real conversation, by grand ‘romantic’ (predatory) gestures. Isn’t it time to acknowledge that Love Actually is shit, actually?


Reviewed by Addison Waite

Photography by Jen Smethurst


Sh!t Actually

Camden People’s Theatre until 21st December


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Mojave | ★★★ | April 2019
Human Jam | ★★★★ | May 2019
Hot Flushes – The Musical | ★★★ | June 2019
Form | ★★★★★ | August 2019
Muse | ★★ | August 2019
Ophelia Rewound | ★★★★ | August 2019
The Indecent Musings Of Miss Doncaster 2007 | ★★★½ | August 2019
A Haunted Existence | ★★★★ | October 2019
Trigger Warning | ★★★ | October 2019
I, Incel | ★★★ | November 2019


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