City Life | Theatre

Putting a Potable Twist on Shakespearean Theatre

What happens when one random cast member gets loaded before the show? Comedic chaos.


Finally, a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that will have Shakespeare rolling over in his grave with a mean case of the DTs.
The brainchild of British theatre director Lewis Ironside, Shit-Faced Shakespeare was brought stateside by Daniel Berger-Jones and Gabriel Kuttner and opened last April in Boston. The August 6 performance at Fete in Olneyville is the show’s Providence debut.

“It’s been really fun to watch this take off,” says Gabriel. “We’re super excited about Providence. It’s vibrant. We’re excited to get out and meet some new people.”

Actor Mac Young has been performing Shit-Faced Shakespeare since it came across the pond. A theatrical jack-of-all-trades, Mac can play any of the male roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, including the pan-sexual Puck. He’s also been a director, set designer, set builder and technical director. But no role could prepare him for this.

“It’s dangerous. We get way off track,” Mac says. “We’ve all gone to a show and seen someone forget a line. But seeing someone screw up and burn the whole thing down, you never see. That feeling keeps me interested.”

About four hours before performances the fun begins. The plastered player is chosen at random, but Gabriel says they are careful not to have the same actor performing drunk twice in a row. Over the last year, the cast has managed to make the pre-show pre-game into an art form.

“You don’t just want an inebriated person. That’s easy to get. You want a person who is having a great time,” Mac says. “So we have a party. Hopefully three hours in the designated drinker is in a really good mood.”

Ticket prices are reasonable – a seat at Fete will set you back $25, about half the cost of the cheapest seat at many performances, and standing room is just $15. But the best part is patrons get what they pay for.

“What’s great is the name says it all,” Mac says. “Whatever expectations people come with, they’re usually right. We try to build something beautiful and precise before we destroy it. Whether you’re coming for the Shakespeare or the Shit-Faced, we don’t disappoint.”

Shit-Faced Shakespeare
August 6 at 8pm
103 Dike Street