Bar, Rum, Glug! You’ve seen a jolly Juliet, a mortal Macbeth, even an out-of-it Oliver! Now one of literatures most popular Christmas tales gets the dickensianly drunkenly treatment; Magnificent Bastard Productions present the world premiere of Sh!tfaced Showtime: A Pissedmas Carol. God help us, every one!
In what it is a first time collaboration between cast members from Sh!tfaced Shakespeare and Sh!tfaced Showtime; A Pissedmas Carol is the genius combination of a 1-hour long musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ celebrated ‘A Christmas Carol’ with a single drunken cast member who’s been slowly drinking spirits for a full 4 hours prior to showtime.
With umpty-dumpty adaptations of A Christmas Carol, this has to be the most unique, if not at all sobering. Running for almost 20 years, the legendary Magnificent Bastard Productions are experts in controlled chaos. The improvisational talent of the performers on stage is phenomenal, each one openly accepting of the drunken actors antics (tonight it’s the hilariously happy Daniel Quirke, multi-roling as Jacob Marley, Mrs Fezziwig and the Ghost of Christmas Present). Agreeing to the ‘improv rules’ in such a welcome way they create even more hilarity to what is already a pricelessly unpredictable farce.
Featuring classic jukebox musical numbers and traditional Christmas carols – with a twist, director Katy Baker ensures the show is always entertaining, even in the absence of the drunk actor. It’s also nostalgic to see previous Shakespeare and Showtime costumes reworked by costume designer Lucy Fowler, adding a glittery and Christmas-y surprise. A special shout-out also has to go to set designer Nicola Jones, whose discreetly hidden phallic and vulvic designs are a fitting tribute to a company that takes pride in defying convention and sometimes even decency.
So get into the Christmas ‘spirit’ with A Pissedmas Carol, showing off at Leicester Square Theatre until January 5th. Merry Pissedmas!