The Drunk Shakespeare Society

27 May, 2016

Every evening one of a group of six highly trained actors downs five shots of whiskey and then attempts to play a leading yet sloshed role in one of Shakespeare’s classics. A few floors up, in an unassuming building just steps from Broadway lies the set. A traditional British library lounge styled with a formalism that will be just one of many oxymorons of the evening. Ticket holders are treated to a shot of something as they arrive and are swiftly issued with a drinks menu. Ordering made easy with little card holders at the ready for scribbled requests. The show and the drinking starts promptly with our lucky thespian being presented with a tray of shots and his role for the evening, King Macbeth. Great pomp and drama lead into the opening act. Proceedings descend rapidly into raucousness with a particularly good impromptu impersonation of the muppet Elmo by one of the temperate team. Our by now tipsy King is well into the swing of things and it seems the alcohol is temporarily aiding and abetting his recall rather than the reverse. However as it is decreed that he should imbibe three more drinks his equilibrium takes a knock and he decides to take a quick break from the spinning library by getting horizontal. The antics of this plastered performer are of necessity off the cuff and are as surprising to his fellow cast members as they are funny to the audience. Amazingly our inebriated leading man becomes more eloquent yet extrovert while his mirthful and unscripted performance has the sober cast struggling to maintain a decorum befitting of one of the Bard’s tragedies. The audience are free to fall about in the aisles.

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