It's Shakespeare – on stage and in the bag

Think the Bard's plays are always the same? Not when it's Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare
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A scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream

A scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Some people think of Shakespeare plays as being kinda stodgy. Maybe a little stuck-up. Sort of pompous, perhaps.

Well, maybe those people should just loosen up and have a drink.

After all, one of the cast members will be guzzling a number of beers right onstage when a popular Shakespearean theater troupe hits Minnesota next month.

Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare will be performing A Midsummer Night's Dream in midwinter in St. Paul. And each performance will be a little different. Because each time one of the cast members will be drunk.

Wherefore art this event? Um, at a bar.

Specifically, it's in the Cabaret Theater at CAMP in downtown St. Paul. It's on Friday and Saturday nights from January 25 through March 31 (with previews on Jan. 18 and 19). Tickets are available here.

Started at fringe festivals

It's probably not surprising that this concept has its roots in fringe festivals in the U.K.

The theater company says its popularity at festivals in Edinburgh and Brighton led to stints on London's West End and more recently in Boston.

Altogether, they've been doing these shows for six years now and every performance is unique. In the announcement touting the upcoming Minnesota shows the company says they're convinced this is Shakespeare the way it was meant to be performed.

"As the sober cast members desperately attempt to tell the story around the drunk, the Magnificent Bastards hark back to the time of the King’s Men of the 1600’s, inviting the audience to see past the archaisms of language and into the pulsating heart of the play - reminding them as we go always to enjoy Shakespeare responsibly!" they say.

In its six year history, Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare cast members are said to have consumed more than 5,000 cans and bottles of beer onstage.

The American troupe also has a company wrapping up a production in Austin, Texas. They've been performing Much Ado About Nothingand Romeo & Juliet, as well as A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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