Theatre review: S**tfaced Shakespeare, St Andrew Square

S***-faced Shakespeare
S***-faced Shakespeare
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MID-WINTER is upon us, gales howl, the rain beats down and Fife is a bridge too far. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment out of the day to dream of those heady, carefree nights of midsummer where cider flows aplenty and getting to a barbeque in Burntisland is a mere hop, skip and jump.

S**tfaced Shakespeare | Rating: **** | Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square

For most of us, those dreams of sunshine are soothed by trawling websites with all inclusive deals to Kos.

The cast of S**tfaced Shakespeare, however, prefer an alcohol-infused foray into the woods of Athens. In a Club 18-30 style tribute to the Bard’s fairiest of frolics A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the group perform an abridged, hour-long excerpt focusing on the four young Athenian lovers that Puck chances upon in his wanderings.

The rub? One of the actors has demolished just about the same amount of alcohol as the well oiled audience - combined.

Playing for laughs and hamming up the experience, it was the turn of Saul Marron’s Demetrius to be the fool, having consumed an inordinate amount of vodka pre-show. To keep things interesting, even more drinking takes place on stage. How much more depends on the whim of the punters.

Certainly the premise seems immature and downright dangerous, if this were Shakespeare with a side order of cigarettes the cast wouldn’t be allowed to perform in Scotland at all, but there is a disarming charm in the execution of the production that wins over even the most sceptical.

Embracing Shakespeare’s bawdiest elements, particularly Puck’s lascivious intentions in manipulating the young Athenians, the ensemble breathe energy and vitality into words that were designed to be delivered with inventive mischief at the back of an actor’s mind.

The cast excel in their understanding of the original text. While their delivery is at first underwhelming, when the show really begins to pick up pace, the ensemble’s creative deviations from and circuitous returns to the script and plot are enthralling.

• Ends today