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A Pissedmas Carol | Leicester Square Theatre

The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a classic story to watch at Christmas time, rendering a number of new adaptations each year. The Shit Faced Showtime Company, however, bring their own exciting twist to the beloved story, and provide a rather unique perspective. Pre-show, an unnamed cast member becomes highly intoxicated and we, the audience, delight in watching them stumble through the show. The remaining cast members must try to continue performing the scripted show, often leading to hilarious improvised moments, disastrous scenes and a completely different show every night. Directed by Katy Baker, it's the perfect fun night out with festive cheer and lots of booze. Filled with unpredictable jokes, the show guarantees laughter with a promise of an incredible show.

For this performance, it was Issy Wroe Wright who plays Tiny Tim (the drunk character) and ensured that the show was firmly disrupted. With personal relationships between the actors being broadcasted on stage in passionate declarations, and an equally boozy and chaotic crowd, the show was filled with non-stop laughter. Whilst the host (James Murfitt) occasionally intervened, in a desperate bid to see the story throughout and to protect his drunk co-star, the story was almost entirely derailed. The few moments where Issy wasn't on stage, and the show followed the scripted dialogues were great, with the clever use of Illusion to continue entertaining the audience. Yet it's when Issy came onto the stage, that it felt like the show we expected.

Issy particularly shone as the show's chosen drinker, by proving the quote "drunk voice, sober thoughts" by calling out a number of political stances, and advocating for a number of minority groups and female rights. These were countered with tripping up, nearly stripping down and swearing constantly, which made the show so hilarious. The actors did a brilliant job in both including statements and jokes made by Issy into the story, and keeping it on track. Their ability to stay in character, and deliver witty comebacks was remarkable to watch, establishing the company/cast as impressive improv actors.

The set (designed by Nicola Jones) appears to be a scene out of a fairytale, with warm colourful books and Christmas decorations in a cosy living room, a rather welcoming presence. The inclusion of what appears to be a fireplace allows for pianist Charlotte Brooke to be undetected yet present on stage and providing live music throughout. The costumes (designed by Lucy Fowler) are perfect for the show, bringing the right mix of regal robes and garments with sparkly cloaks and light up wings. Whilst the cast does not, the show itself takes itself seriously with the dialogues being passionate and clearly explaining the story. However a familiarity with the story before going into this adaptation would be advisable.

The show is not a pantomime, yet the audience are invited to engage and even participate in the show in limited roles. Members from the front row in particular are given responsibilities that impact the show, are named characters and can potential even end up on stage. Particularly entertaining to watch was a snowball fight between the audience and cast using paper balls. There are a few songs and musical moments sprinkled throughout, but these feel unnecessary and despite the talented performers, don't quite fit the tone of the rest of the show.

Shitfaced Showtime: A Pissedmas Carol is filled with filthy fun that will have you in clutches of laughter throughout. It is a rendition of the Christmas Carol that you don't want to miss.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | Photography by Rah Petherbridge Photography


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