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Thursday, 21 July 2022

REVIEW: Sh!t-faced Shakespeare presents: Romeo and Juliet at The Leicester Square Theatre

Shitfaced Shakespeare is a Shakespeare company with a twist and a stumble that has been luring audiences since 2010 with a simple yet effective concept. Each night, one selected cast member from whatever show they are putting on, is made to drink for 4 hours before stepping on the stage and the curtain rises. The rule is that they must be well and truly ‘shit-faced’ by this point. The remaining ‘sober' cast members are then required to accommodate their inebriated peer by justifying and improvising around them and also to continue to drive the action of the ‘actual’ play. It could be a comedy or tragedy being performed, but the drinking game, as it were, remains the same. 

For my first experience of a Shitfaced Shakespeare performance, I went to see their un-holy latest take on Romeo & Juliet and my lucky drunk was none other than Juliet herself. As a comedy show having originally found its feet in the fringe scene, this is a pared-down version of the classic but keeps in all the much-loved key scenes of the play like the balcony scene, death of Mercutio and final death scene. Along with the five actors, the show also incorporates a compare into the mix to help the drunken proceedings along. This is done mainly by making sure the inebriated actor stays that way by handing them more drinks (with help from the audience). Overall the show, also, takes artistic liberties to promote more bawdy and comedy-driven antics. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

REVIEW: BenDelaCreme is… Ready To Be Committed at the Leicester Square Theatre

With summer fast approaching, we plunge into a jam-packed season of ‘I do’s’, bridezillas and vows… and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good wedding? Well, if the happiest day of your life is what you’re looking for, Drag Race royalty BenDeLaCreme has the answer you are looking for! You are cordially invited to a front-row seat at the most unusual wedding of the year in her latest international one-woman show, ‘BenDelaCreme is… Ready To Be Committed’, currently playing at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. 

Having been a fan of her work since her original season on the smash-hit reality show, I jumped at the chance to join her down the aisle by snapping up a ticket, and I certainly didn’t regret it! 

Friday, 10 December 2021

REVIEW: Sh!t-faced Showtime ‘A Pissedmas Carol’ at The Leicester Square Theatre

Get a group of actors together to put on ‘A Christmas Carol’ and get one of them completely drunk beforehand and what do you get, chaos? … absolutely! But a comedic 90-minute chaotic affair, at the expense of everyone but the drunk actor! 

Except for a compare who explains the proceedings of the show, the premise is pretty much self-explanatory. The. It’s a wait to find out who is tonight’s drunk addition before the show begins. 

What makes the show work so well is the complete unpredictability of the show. Naturally, the sober cast members do their best to navigate their way through the script, however, it’s not that simple when a drunk cast member has other ideas. The cast does exceptionally well it must be said, to continue with the story as it goes more or less off at a complete tangent (I’m certain I’ll never see ‘A Christmas Carol’ I’m quite the same way!) but remain composed throughout. 

Saturday, 22 June 2019

REVIEW: Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare: Hamlet at the Leicester Square Theatre

Sh*t faced Shakespeare have been playing the stages of Fringe Theatres and festivals for over nine years and has honed the art of condensing the Bard's work into its seventy minute format (the first ten minutes seems to be a Health and Safety briefing to set up the context for the show)of the lowest common denominator nonsense. It attracts a different sort of audience to the usual West End Theatres being young couples and parties of twenty-somethings all with drinks in hand as they settle into their seats. They know what they have come for and lap up every silly moment of the action, presumably as a warm up before getting sh*t faced themselves.

The pre show video claims that the format has been seen by over 250,000 people. This was my first and only time. The success of the evening depends on:

Monday, 22 April 2019

REVIEW: Shit-faced Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew at the Leicester Square Theatre

One bottle of Cherry Lambrini. One bottle of London’s finest Port. And three old fashioned beers for good measure, all consumed by one unlucky actor before the curtain had even opened. Founded in 2012 by Magnificent Bastard Productions, this completely ridiculous and unpredictable production combines the entirely serious works of Shakespeare with an entirely shit-faced cast member. Having already entertained over 350,000 audience members throughout the UK, US and Australia, including multiple sell out seasons at both the Brighton and Edinburgh fringe festivals, Shitfaced Shakespeare is now currently playing the long awaited UK premiere of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ in London’s Leicester Square Theatre. 

Based on his original works, the story follows wealthy siblings Katherina and Bianca, each of whom find themselves pitched against multiple suspicious suitors and each other. However, until the eldest daughter Katherina has found a suitable suitor, sought after Bianca is left in a husbandless limbo. The question is, will Katherina ever find her love? Featuring gender bending, cross dressing, general tomfoolery, and a booze soaked thespian thrown in for good luck, and you have the perfect premise for a hilarious and certainly unique adaptation. 

Thursday, 14 March 2019

REVIEW: Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales’ The Ginger Snapped at the Leicester Square Theatre

‘The Ginger Snapped’ is Jinkx Monsoon’s newest tour following the total sell out tour of ‘The Vaudevillians’, and its not hard to see how Jinkx’s tours sell out. This cabaret showcases Jinkx’ and Major Scales’ second album (following the popular 2014 album ‘The Inevitable Album’) and is an absolute treat, from comedic genius, to serious attention to detail, before hitting you with a powerful and moving message that leaves you gasping for more.

Jinkx Monsoon is the alter ego of Portland-born Jericho Hoffer, who is infamous for being a winner of season 5 of Rupaul’s Drag Race (RPDR). A notoriously strong year where you need considerable charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to get noticed, let alone win. And teaming up with Major Scale for ‘The Ginger Snapped’ oh do they prove they still ooze bucket loads of this. They dominate the stage like the true star they are with masterful comedic timing, bringing unpredictability whilst having the audience in the palm of their hand. One of the most memorable sections for me (being a RPDR fan) is their Bianca Del Rio section, leaving little time to recover between one laugh and the next, with the most memorable and deliciously shady quote of the evening with ‘Who’s Tyra?’

Friday, 7 September 2018

REVIEW: Sh*t-faced Showtime: Oliver With a Twist at the Leicester Square Theatre

The team behind Sh*t Faced Shakespeare, after their rip roaring Sh*t Faced showtime Wizard of Oz, bring us ‘Sh*t Faced Showtime Oliver with a Twist. 

It’s been two years since I have seen a sh*t faced production and my expectations are high. 

I first saw Sh*t Faced Shakespeare many moons ago when they were playing at the Edinburgh Fringe and the format hasn’t changed at all, it’s easy: One of the cast (they rotate so there is no chance of alcohol poisoning or liver damage) have been drinking for four hours before the show and they then have to go on stage and remember everything they have learned: sounds easy, right? Wrong. 

From the off were told just how much the actor has consumed; half a bottle of gin and another little can of gin. The controller of tonight’s show [insert name] quickly gives the audience some toys to make some sound and encourage more drinking if we thought the actor was becoming sober - perfect. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

REVIEW: The Scarecrows’ Wedding at the Leicester Square Theatre

The Scarecrows’ Wedding is a 2014 book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler who are best known for the creation of The Gruffalo. Scamp Theatre has lovingly transferred it to the stage at the Leicester Square Theatre until 2ndSeptember. It is a show designed for young children and the promotional leaflet says “babes in arms go free”, so there is no mistaking its audience. Magically as soon as the three performers enter the fully lit auditorium and begin to sing “Life in the Country” accompanying themselves on banjo, violin and beatbox, the young children in the audience fell silent. The little girl a few rows in front who for the previous ten minutes had been screaming to go home was entranced. The cast skilfully create a host of wild life to enthral them and as one young boy heckles “it’s magic”.

Betty O'Barley (played by Philippa Hogg) and Harry O'Hay (played by Matthew Burns) are two scarecrows in love and are planning to marry. They agree they need five things for the wedding and set out to collect white feathers for the dress, shells for necklace, pink flowers, bells and two rings. They begin their search and along the way they encounter two geese (made from a pair of socks), three cows (just bells on a string), a crab (Spanish hat and tambourine!), a toad (on a green space hopper), a bee (a kazoo) and a snail (a backpack and flatcap!). While Harry is delayed away on the quest the French lothario Reginald Rake (played by Mark kane) tries to tempt her away from the wedding.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

REVIEW: Sh*tfaced Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Leicester Square Theatre

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the concept of Sh*tfaced Shakespeare, it’s really quite simple. In a company of five actors, one is chosen at random before the evening’s performance to get outrageously drunk before taking to the stage. Sh*tfaced Shakespeare declare in any given week, no performer is ever asked to drink on consecutive nights. In addition they are never required to drink more than four times in the course of one month. (They proudly acknowledge that this means they are the probably most sober cast of performers in the West End!) It’s then up to the talented cast of actors surrounding the one drunk performer to try and keep the show running as smoothly as possible. At the Press Night for Romeo and Juliet, it was Beth-Louise Priestley’s ‘Juliet’ who had taken to the gin and lager and little too hard before curtain up. 

Can we be at all surprised with the concept like this that the show did not run smoothly? Juliet forgot to call her beau Romeo, but instead referred to him as Richard (the actor’s name) throughout the show. She wobbled atop her balcony and leant over the edges so brashly, my heart almost stopped. She licked people’s noses. She wrestled with curtains. She spat out her drink laughing at her costars jokes. She was also flagged down by the compère for “dangerous behaviour” and had her dagger taken from her and was instead handed a large stuffed toy snake (which she proceeded to use to re-enact Britney Spears’ iconic “I’m A Slave For U” performance. As the show was beginning to come to the dramatic close, she sprung up from bed to declare “I’m not dead yet!” and skipped off the stage...! 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Eva Noblezada has joined the line-up of artists set to perform at THE PHILIPPINE DREAM


Filipino-American actress Eva Noblezada, currently starring as Kim in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre, has joined the line-up of artists set to perform at THE PHILIPPINE DREAM - a one-off Gala at the Leicester Square Theatre this Sunday (17 August).

She joins fellow co-stars Rachelle Ann Go (Gigi), Hugh Maynard (John), and other members of the Miss Saigon company, who will be performing to raise money for the Tuloy Foundation, an organisation that cares for abandoned and neglected orphans in Manila.
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