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Sh*t-faced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet - Leicester Square Theatre

Image by Rah Petherbridge Photography

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of their booze-fuelled trip to Venice with The Merchant of Venice earlier this year, the critically lauded (and occasionally lambasted) Magnificent Bastard Productions hot foot it to Verona as they make their return to the Leicester Square Theatre from June 20 to September 1, 2018.

From sozzled star-crossed lovers to a tipsy Tybalt, Sh*t-faced Shakespeare give Romeo and Juliet their signature sh*t-faced twist as the cast attempt to navigate the bard’s fated love story with one drunk performer.

So how does it work?

Each performance has a cast of six actors, who all arrive four hours before the start of the show for a ‘party’. However, this party is dry for all but one performer, who gets Sh*t-faced. The rest is a balancing act between the (trimmed down to an hour) Shakespeare script and improv rules, which state you must go with whatever the drunk actor decides to do.

Every single show is a one-off. Every single performance has a different drunk actor. Every single time they are genuinely inebriated.

Director and performer Stacey Norris said: “The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is often held as one of the greatest love stories of all time. However, we can’t guarantee that our Sh*t-faced version is going to be either a tragedy or a love story. Star-crossed lovers, feuding families and a murderous Friar that stabs everybody with a dildo leaving him the only surviving character, who knows? The beauty is that we don’t know what is going to happen from show to show.

Romeo and Juliet is one of my top Sh*t-faced shows, there is just so much to play with! For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her pissed up Romeo.”

The cast comprises Richard Hughes and James Ely (as Romeo), Jessica Brindle, Lucy Farrar and Beth-Louise Priestly (Juliet), Saul Marron and Simi Egbejumi-David (Mercutio/Friar), John Mitton and Chris Lane (Capulet/Tybalt) and Victoria Fitz-Gerald and Stacey Norris (Nurse/Benvolia).

Romeo and Juliet is adapted by Lewis Ironside.

Formed in 2010 by a group of East15 graduates (largely), Magnificent Bastard Productions were just friends who loved creating unexpected and unpredictable theatre at music festivals such as Secret Garden Party. Sh*t-faced now performs across the UK, Australia and USA in Boston, Atlanta and Austin. They sell-out at the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringes annually, and in 2015 expanded into Sh*t-faced Showtime, a pissed-up hour of harmonious Broadway showtunes.

Sh*t-faced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet is suitable for ages 16+.

Image by Rah Petherbridge Photography.

Tickets: £21.50 – £19.50. To book, call the box office on 020 7734 2222 or visit www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/.

Time: Tuesday to Saturday at 7pm.

Running Time: 70 minutes.