A Pissedmass Carol presented by Magnificent Bastard Productions
What is it?
Shit-faced Showtime presents their version of A Christmas Carol, all the while being quite...pissed.
What is it about?
A Pissedmas Carol takes the very familiar story of A Christmas Carol and turns it on its' head, getting quite merry as every night a different actor gets completely drunk.
Right away, we are greeted by our host, James Murfitt, who helps to narrate the plot and keep the selected drunk safe and on track.
The traditional story line ensues, as Ebenezer Scrooge (John Mitton) proves to live up to his historical name sake and ruins Christmas for everyone around him.
The characters coming in and out of his evening include the hilarious cast who is improv-ing splendidly alongside their drunk, who tonight is powerhouse Katy Baker.
Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Baker), Present, and Future. All of whom are trying to teach Scrooge the true meaning of Christmas and show him just how terrible he is. After his wild night, Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning to find he still has time to make amends and sets off to celebrate the spirit of Christmas...which does not turn out quite as planned because Tiny Tim's mother has turned out to be an obnoxious, vile, drunk woman (the hilarious Baker)!
How did it make me feel?
A Pissedmas Carol is a laugh from start to finish. What better way to be merry with the Christmas spirit than with a classic story and some spirits?
The cast is truly remarkable in the way that they completely trust one another to take care of them. While the show is scripted, when the drunk is present, it allows a great opportunity for improv, which the rest of the actors jump on board with and carry on as planned. This is quite a feat and as the cast are able to carry out this task flawlessly.
It is pleasant and fun to take a traditional story and spin it slightly.
The comedy and the drunkenness do not take away from the performance value at all. In fact, Baker still has pipes of steel and her brassy-ness is well suited for her role and the choices she makes.
It is also important to mention the flexibility, talent, and comedy chops of the rest of the cast. Hal Hillman is put on the spot with needing to be Scottish, and whips out a superb accent immediately, which takes even him by surprise. Issy Wroe Wright plays a handful of ingenue roles and does so with vigour. Will Seaward has a booming presence that resembles jolly old St Nick.
I really admire the solidarity within the cast and their ability to continue the show and honour the script, while still allowing for comedy and improv.
The set is simple yet detailed in the perfect way to set the stage, if you will, but not to distract or become hugely technical.
With the use of a backdrop full of character, the creative team have designed the stage to look like a pop-up book that is really quite perfect for a Christmas show.
A Pissedmas Carol is playing at Leicester Square Theatre until the 5th January 2020.
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