Midnight at the Boar’s Head (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Midnight at the Boar’s Head

Shakespeare's characters meet and clash in a folksy pub setting

Here’s one: a porter, a king and a shrew walk into a bar. What happens next?

Midnight at the Boar’s Head bumps Shakespeare’s characters’ heads together as they meet in a pub to get drunk, pick fights and flirt with strangers, all in Shakespeare’s original words. The star turn is Falstaff, easing into what turns out to be his natural home: an East London boozer that fills up with comedy, bathos and romance, all in the time it takes to buy the next round.

The music is the real star of this show, with ingenious live folk settings of Shakespeare’s verse that put the rhythms of the text centre stage. It’s a truly thoughtful and brilliantly entertaining production, with what’s lacking in cohesion and progression largely made up for in fun, and a chaotic sense of joy and a real love of the Bard shining through from the company. This is a show that’s rough around the edges, but as close as you’re likely to get to going for a pint with the great man himself.

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 27 Aug, 8.15pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Fine Chisel - Pinch Him.m4v

Midnight at the Boar's Head

  • 3 stars

Outside, the land is burning. But in the bar, music is playing, drink is flowing and there are stories to be told. The Boar’s Head in London’s Cheapside was Shakespeare’s favourite pub. Fine Chisel, ‘Charming, witty and ridiculously entertaining’ (FringeGuru.com), bring it to life and fill it with an array of colourful…