Moving the penny tickets from the pit to stage level: Drunk Shakespeare today?

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I was amazed and laughing my butt off when I read this NPR article. I’d never heard of this, but apparently this is something that’s been going on in some form or another for many years. Shakespeare with a plastered actor or two, and an audience that can drink all night, too?

I’m not much of a drinker, but I have to admit Shakespeare and drinking might be an interesting event. I’d probably just make sure I sat near  the exits in case things got too crazy…at least the first time.

I lost count the number of times I’d read about the goings on in the Globe while actors were on stage, and the different tiers and who you’d expect to find. Every year the literature textbook would have a diagram and an amusing print about the rowdy crowd in the cheap pit area. The working stiffs had this area and drinking and fights could occur.

I’m sure it made the actors project more, and probably lent something to the performance.

But what if the actors are imbibing a bit, too?

Hmm…I don’t get drunk humor much if at all (and no, have never watched The Hangover or Drunk History), but I do think it’s an interesting way to make Shakespeare accessible to the masses, even with the same language as before. I’m a newbie to Shakespeare for fun, so I can’t tell if maybe this is a good thing. Considering how often we over-evaluate The Bard’s work and have done so over the centuries, maybe this is totally legit and just fantastic.

Since I’m still reading the plays, I’m definitely curious.

What do you think?

From NPR, January 28th, 2018, “Boozing With The Bard: How The Masses Find Common Ground With Shakespeare.”

Never mind. If two of my fave Brits here can go nuts enjoying beer and doing Shakespeare (and wanted to do it at the same time), I’d tag along on a pub crawl as a delighted audience member.

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