A Pissedmas Carol – Leicester Square Theatre, London

Reviewer: Christine Stanton

Writers: Lewis Ironside, Issy Wroe Wright and James Murfitt

Director: Katy Baker

What do you get if you combine a pissed-up performer with a Christmas classic? A Pissed-mas Carol! No, this isn’t the start of a crappy cracker joke, it’s the hysterically fantastic Sh!t-faced Showtime’s take on A Christmas Carol.

This wonderfully comedic bunch takes traditional stories and puts a drunken spin on them by getting one of their actors inebriated a few hours before each performance. Each performance the person sozzled on stage is different, so every audience gets a unique show, which is guaranteed to be full of boozed-up brilliance each time. Tonight, it was the incredible James Murfitt’s turn to become the smashed version of Scrooge – and as the group say, it is less bah humbug and more bar, rum, glug.

Sticking relatively closely to the original story, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, but the classic tale doesn’t often include Marley being Scrooge’s long-time sexual partner, Tiny Tim in desperate need of some Gaviscon or Bob Cratchit being given the night off because agency worker Gavin steps in last minute to cover his shift. These hilarious twists encompass the wit and talent of the group, with some partial improvisations thrown in to add even more laughs.

Compere John Mitton kicks off the evening with his infectious energy, exposing the drink choices of the drunken actor and amping up the audience with his pantomime style interactions. Passing out props to audience members as a tool to get the chosen drunk an extra drink is an entertaining way for allow another spanner to be thrown in the mix. The props can be used at any point and as soon as they are the performance is halted immediately and more booze is brought out, ensuring more chaotic ridiculousness from the cast.

Writer and actor, Murfitt is impeccable in his role as Scrooge, even if he is intoxicated. He is joined by the rest of this talented troupe (Daniel Quirke, Hal Hillman, Katy Baker and Issy Wroe Wright) who all play various parts, sprinkled in with so many classic Christmas songs that’s it’s hard to leave the venue not feeling festive. Their voices are impressively good, their character driven skits are side-splittingly funny and their lewd, foul-mouthed approach to the festivities is nothing short of fabulous.

Runs until 15 January 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Boozed-Up Brilliance

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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