Reviewed by: Fringefeed
Review by Elena Perse | 16 January 2022

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble! Most of us recognise the opening lines of Macbeth, but in Booze and the Bard’s adaptation of the Scotch play, more is bubbling than just a cauldron. Pre-Game Theatre’s alcohol-soaked speed-run of the best of the Bard is one of a kind. Condensing a two-hour performance down to 75 minutes, with the entire cast of characters being performed by just five actors, Booze and the Bard is chaotic in the best way. The play starts off with one (un)lucky (depending on how you look at it!) actor being chosen to down six shots – scotch, of course – before getting into character. As the alcohol hits, the rest of the cast, including the drinker, have to carry on with the show as best they can, with side-splitting results. Jumping from character to character and struggling in and out of costumes, the play eventually devolves into one big drinking game, with the audience encouraged to drink along too.

In a truly democratic process, the direction of the play is decided by audience members and a spinning wheel, resulting in hilariously bizarre interpretations of Shakespeare’s characters, including, but not limited to: Slavic Macbeth, valley-girl Lady Macbeth and an intensely bogan Ross. You can never anticipate where the play will go next, and it seems, neither can the actors, but the unpredictability and boozy missteps only add to the hilarity. Drinking every time that a chosen buzzword is inadvertently mentioned, or particular action takes place, Booze and the Bard ends with pretty much the entire cast two sheets to the wind, along with a fair chunk of the audience. The cast kept the audience laughing almost the entire time – their hysterical production of Macbeth was worlds away from high school English classes. No knowledge of Shakespeare is needed to appreciate this masterpiece, but a drink of your own is recommended!

If you like your Shakespeare six shots deep, get yourself a ticket to Booze and the Bard before it’s too late – this show is absolutely a must-see!