3.5⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2017 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Shit-Faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ by Magnificent Bastard Productions.

3.5 Stars

Ever since I first came to the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2015, I’ve always wanted to see a Shitfaced Show of some description. Somehow, I’ve never managed to get around to it until this year when I saw both Shitfaced Showtime and Shitfaced Shakespeare over the course of two nights.

*SPOILERS MAY APPLY*

Shitfaced Showtime is, I believe, a relatively new expansion of theΒ Shitfaced concept, and one with the potential for much hilarity and chaos. It delivered to a certain extent. The drunken Tin Man misremembering his cues and cursing himself in a slurred camp whispers under his breath was an entertaining sight to behold, and caused enough minor disruption to have me and my friends in multiple fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Amusing as it was, however, I felt this show, or the version I saw at least, fell just a little short of it’s full humorous potential. The problem with show’s of this kind is they incredibly unpredictable and dependent on massive variables. One of the main problems with this particular production was I think that the rest of the cast were too focused on keeping things on track. That is their job admittedly, but I think these kind of show’s may work better when the cast roll with the disruption caused by the drunk actor and demonstrate more flexibility and improvisational skill so as to best exploit their co-star’s drunken antics for humorous effect.

Taking out the drunken elements, this version of the Wizard of Oz would just be a passable and not particularly memorable version of the show. It’s sister production, Shitfaced Shakespeare would the next night do a lot more to establish it’s own uniqueness and charm so as to make the drunkenness the main but not sole quirk of the show. The actor playing the Wicked Witch/The Wizard was the only member of the cast who made a consistent effort to improvise and play-off the drunken Tin Man, but did so very ably and memorably. The actress portraying the Cowardly Lion/Good Witch should also briefly be mentioned for her general stage presence and performance outside the main conceit of the show.

All in all, an enjoyable performance that would be improved by more drunkenness and more improvisation than I saw the night I went. Who knows, they may have delivered on that since.

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