4⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2017 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet’ by Magnificent Bastard Productions.

4.5 Stars

I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time. This performance was nothing short of an utter riot, and a real testament to the beautiful hilarity and chaos the Shitfaced formula can achieve.

*SPOILERS MAY APPLY*

Drunken-Romeo never failed to deliver in any scene he stumbled into, almost always causing utter chaos and leaving proceedings in hysterical ruins. One of the necessities for making a Shitfaced production work is making sure that that the shitfaced actor in question truly is utterly, irretrievably, Queen-Mother-surpassing levels of drunk. Romeo definitely was in this show, and the result was spectacular.Β The destruction of set, duelling with an inflatable T-Rex, and repeated verbal abuse of George the Tech Guy and Lucas the Director were of my favourite recurring features of the hour.

Another feature that made this production work better than its sister show, Shitfaced Showtime, was the level to which the rest of the cast rolled with and played on the drunken antics of their castmate. The amount of obvious improvisation, adlibbing, and adjusting themselves around mistakes or tangents created by Romeo was clear and masterfully executed. The Compair was also much more heavily involved in this show (by necessity, due to Romeo’s tendency to steer things in a rather dodgy direction – you know the jokes I mean) which made the chaos more apparent, enjoyable, and engaging. Β Β 

Another thing that should be said for the production is that it does not rely entirely on the drunkenness to mark out it’s own uniqueness. Little additions, adaptations, and scripted gags mean that this would still make for fun, quirky little interpretation of Romeo and Juliet even if done sober. It is the inebriated chaos, however, that pushes it into genuine masterpiece territory.Β 

My only criticism was that the show was a little slow to start, the opening scene, and the slight reinterpretation thereof, dragged out a little. It was not until Romeo’s arrival that things really kicked off, but when they did they did so in style.

A real must-see for anyone at Fringe this year, and if you want to, you’ll need to get in there early, cus that shit sells out quick.

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