Reviewed by Louise Watts
When I first heard about this production, I really couldn’t believe it was true! William Shakespeare’s plays, as incredible as they are can at times be seen as a little difficult to understand due to the old language used and are seen by some as boring! Well, I can assure you that was absolutely nothing boring about last evenings performance of “Shi*t-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Basically, the story is told through 5 actors and a compere. Not that interesting I hear you say! Well the difference between this show and every other Shakespeare production I have ever seen is that in this version, one of the cast members is blind drunk!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when myself and my friend went to The Hawth theatre last night. In my mind the show was going to go one of two ways. Either the drunk person would be absolutely hilarious or the whole thing would be a disaster and a waste of a good evening.
The show opened with our compere for the evening who introduced us to the way the show works and told us that tonight our cast member had consumed a bottle of Prosecco and 2/3 of a bottle of pink gin. This for me would be more than enough to have me falling over, so I was interested to see the effect it would have on said cast member tonight! The compere gave out two musical instruments to audience members with the instructions to play them if they felt our drunk cast member needed another drink and a bucket to a man in the front row in case our actor became unwell! The evenings compere was absolutely brilliant, she engaged the audience straight away and we knew the evening was all about fun with a little Shakespeare thrown in for good measure.
The show started and it didn’t take too long to work out that Hermia was in fact the drunk cast member. She was funny beyond belief and her off piste lines had the audience in stitches. I have not laughed out loud like that in a long time. I was absolutely amazed that she could recite any true Shakespearean lines as I would struggle with those lines sober! Not only was she funny beyond words, the way her fellow cast members were with her was pure entertainment at its best. The actors playing Lysander (Hermia’s love interest), Demetrius and Helena interacted with Hermia in the most incredibly understanding but truly comical way! With the added sex appeal of Puck and the sexual innuendoes, this was definitely not for children or prudes! I have never seen Shakespeare like it before, but I most definitely want to see it again! She even seemed to get excited when the instruments were sounded and more beer came her way.
During the interval, you would expect the actress to sober up a little. This was not the case as she consumed cold curry and more beer! The second half was as good if not better than the first. More sex appeal from Puck, more adlibbing from everyone and plenty more cheers and laughter from the audience!
The show itself including the interval was just short of 2 hours which I am sure for Hermia was more than enough! I will most definitely be going again; however, I cannot stop thinking about her today and how sore her head must have been this morning!
The Hawth was as usual a very pleasant venue with staff always eager to please. They had a new system in the bar which seemed to be causing staff a few issues which is very unlike them, however everyone remained calm and polite – a testament to the wonderful bar staff that work there. Parking is easy and free on site and I never had an issue getting a space.
For a truly entertaining and somewhat educational (in more ways than one) evening, head down to Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare, you will not be disappointed.
Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.shitfacedshakespeare.com.
For other shows at The Hawth in Crawley visit hawth.co.uk or call the box office on 01293 553636.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636