REVIEW: Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Macbeth, Leicester Square Theatre

Shakespeare’s tragedy has never been so entertaining or hilarious.

(c)Andrew AB Photography

Ever wondered what it would be like to see a Shakespeare production where one of the cast is completely drunk? Well wonder no more thanks to Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s hilarious take on Macbeth which soon descends into chaos thanks to one of the cast not only being drunk but also making all kinds of improvisations including references to Forrest Gump, Cool Runnings and Dominos pizza.

At the start of the proceedings, Compère Matthew Seager wonderfully warms up the audience to explain what they should expect and give an insight into just how much has been drunk by the cast member (at this performance a flamboyant and hilarious James Murfitt as Malcolm). It nicely sets up the chaos of the show as four sober actors attempts to put on a traditional production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, while Murfitt constantly interrupts with random improvisations (who knew that Malcolm was a black belt in judo?).

But taking away the drunken chaos, this is a really sleek and well thought out production, with every element of it retaining the feeling of a traditional production from the props to the set design. In a sense, the high quality nature of the look of the production enhances the hilarity of the show as a whole – particularly when combined with the strong performances from the sober cast.

What is also so clever about the show is that given each night a different cast member is drunk no performance is ever going to be the same – which will certainly make people come back for more out of curiosity and to see what other shenanigans the cast can come up with.

There are so many hilarious moments that really stand out and the fact that the audience never knows what to expect next keeps the show feeling fresh and unexpected from start to finish. It has a great energy and pace about it even with the improvisations and interruptions that it is somewhat disappointing when the show ends – I could have quite happily sat through even more of it and perhaps a return trip inevitable!

Doing exactly what it promises to do, Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s take on Macbeth is certainly the most entertaining performance of Shakespeare’s play that I have seen. Well worth a trip to the Leicester Square Theatre.

By Emma Clarendon

Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Macbeth continues to perform at the Leicester Square Theatre until the 11th September.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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