FRINGE 2019 – Shit-Faced Shakespeare – The May Wirth @ Gluttony – 4.5K


“I just peed in my pants a little. Just a little bit”
– Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream??


Did you love Shakespeare in high school English? Or did you hate it with a passion? Well, it doesn’t matter: the cast of Shit-Faced Shakespeare don’t care either way. For the next four weeks of the Fringe, one actor will tear apart one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, one beer at a time.

For the uninitiated, Shit-Faced Shakespeare is fast becoming a Fringe staple. Almost every night of the Fringe, a group of classically trained actors grace the stage with an abridged version of some of Billy Shakespeare’s most famous works, while one actor, who has gotten sloppy drunk beforehand, just tries to make it through the night.

Audience participation is a relatively big part of this show, but luckily there are different participation levels for different personalities. Do you like to heckle? You could be one of two audience members given a gong that you may strike to force the slurring actor to down another drink.

Not much of a heckler? Cheer them on as they chug with the rest of the audience, or “whoop” when the fellow actors improvise around the rogue drunk. The performers seem to feed off this energy, so encouragement is, well, encouraged.

Prefer to chill? That’s fine too. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

This year’s Willy Wonder is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As someone who isn’t too familiar with this Shakespeare play, I was worried I would get lost during the performance. Luckily, the storyline was stripped back and the cast provided moments of clarity where the audience could catch up on the plot.

The character “Hermia” was the drunk of the night and she certainly was a slurring success. There were moments I suspected she was pretending to be drunk, but other times, through fits of laughter, I thought she’s either very drunk, or a very good actress (maybe both). The ensemble improvised well around her, and held it together in between Hermia’s wedgie-picking and beer-splashing.

With a show this popular, it’s probably unsurprising that The May Wirth venue is packed a little tight. As a young woman with a derrière that would make Sir Mix-a-Lot proud, I would have preferred a little extra space between the chairs. But this is easily fixed, especially if you get in early enough to shift the chairs slightly to allow yourself a little extra space.

While this probably goes without being said, it is important to note this show is hilarious but not exactly family friendly. Additionally, if you have a complicated or negative relationship with alcohol and drinking culture, it might be best to sit this one out.

Overall, the show is an excellent night out and highly recommended to most fringe-goers. This is my second year seeing the show, and I will almost certainly return next year.

Shit-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is on at the May Worth, Gluttony, every night (except Mondays) until March 17. Check it out and buy tickets here.


Leave a Reply