“Marley was dead, to begin with” – or had he just passed out from a night out on the Victorian lash? Shit-faced Showtime are here to help, with their very first Christmas show – a brand new musical version of the festive Dickens classic, rebranded as A Pissedmas Carol. Head over to Leicester Square Theatre to warm your cockles and learn something new about the spirit of Christmas (be it gin, vodka, whisky…).
A Christmas Carol is such a well known story, thanks in part to the various film and stage adaptations it has had over the years (the Old Vic’s is now becoming something of a tradition, and you simply can’t beat The Muppet Christmas Carol), so it’s about time it had a bit of a drunken shake-up. At our performance we were treated to several inebriated characters, courtesy of Daniel Quirke having ingested one Cobra Beer, one Tiger Beer and two-thirds of a bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum… This meant that several different strands of the show were ripe for messing with; my initial hope was for a drunk Scrooge, but actually having a clerk, Marley, Mrs Fezziwig and the Ghost of Christmas Present getting increasingly merry led to chaos & creativity in almost equal measure.
We learnt very early on that it was a Victorian custom to greet your superiors by licking them on the nose, that Scrooge was a tosspot, and that his clerk for some reason needed to write about antidisestablishmentarianism. My favourite section was probably the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Present, as he turned into a bit of a poltergeist once he’d taken Scrooge to the Cratchits’ house, making mince pies and Bob’s boots fly around the room and turning it into a Scary Christmas; he also informed us that Tiny Tim was “riddled”, from his thumbs to the syphilis – though he somehow survived for about 70 years as it turns out that Scrooge had been cryogenically frozen all along…
Rather than being the usual A Christmas Carol musical, this version instead has mined the pop charts of Christmas past and uses numbers such as Last Christmas, Stay, A Fairytale of New York, and Stop the Cavalry – this is definitely more in keeping with the irreverent tone of a shit-faced show, backed by Charlotte Brooke on piano.
If you’re a bit of a Scrooge yourself, then this show should sort you right out – there’s nothing like laughing at people making idiots of themselves, especially when they’re drunk! By now, the Shit-faced team know exactly what to do to entertain their audiences and keep them coming back for more; with the cast rotating and a different drunk from performance to performance, you are guaranteed a slightly different show each time so could easily book tickets to several nights and still leave the theatre on an endorphin high. If you’ve enjoyed one of their previous productions (be it Showtime or Shakespeare) then you are guaranteed a giggle, as the unpredictability of that one actor will open you up to a world of stories you could never anticipate…
My verdict? The perfect show for the Scrooge or Bob Cratchit in your life – guaranteed to bring good cheer!
A Pissedmas Carol runs at Leicester Square Theatre until 5 January 2020. Tickets are available online or from the box office.