No two shows the same with Shit-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Fringe regulars Magnificent Bastard Productions bring their drunken take on the Bard's rom com to Edinburgh's Christmas
A Midsummer Night's Dream – despite being full of inappropriate dating, dubious chemical seduction techniques and a man with an ass for a head – is regarded as a whimsical, romantic foray. Fortunately, the Shit-Faced formula insists that one actor, if not the audience, will be drinking throughout the performance. As the actor gets drunker, their take on Shakespeare becomes clearer.
'In the six years we've been performing, there is not a lot that hasn't happened,' admits Reverend Lewis Ironside, artistic director. 'We've had partial nudity, full frontal nudity, audience nudity, audience fondling, attempted dancing, bad singing, £280 worth of pizza ordered unbeknownst to us, simulated acts of a sexual nature, actual acts of a slightly sexual nature, group acts of a very sexual nature simulated by the entire front row against their will, acrobatics, matchmaking, feminist diatribes, philosophical treatise, Pokémon battles, rap battles, selfies, self-help advice sessions, self flagellation, power drill usage, fire extinguisher discharge, parental phone calls, competitive sausage roll eating, racial protests and a sword fight conducted with an audience member's prosthetic arm … occasionally some actual Shakespeare occurs.'
A Midsummer Night's Dream, which alternates between broad humour and a courtly romance, seems a perfect choice for inebriated deconstruction. As Ironside concludes: 'The idea of the love potion making the male characters behave abhorrently is such a brilliant juxtaposition to the alcohol they may also have drunk. It's a great combo!'
St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Wed 9–Sun 13 Dec.