The Rapidian

Buzzed Bard Put The "Beer" Back In "Shakesbeer"

Pigeon Creek Shakespeare brought humor and madness to The Comedy Project.

“…[O]ftener on her knees than her feet…”

 — William Shakespeare, Macbeth

What’s that about my mother, you currish, onion-eyed bugbear? You fobbing, doghearted hedge-pig? You clack-dish?

On December 12th, Pigeon Creek Shakespeare strode upon the stage of The Comedy Project for Buzzed Bard, an evening of Shakespearean insult; inadvertently dirty lines; and rousing fights conducted with, among other things, a fake crocodile and a stuffed fox.

“When it’s time to bard-y, we will bard-y hard.” I believe that’s from Coriolanus.

To some, Shakespeare’s name conjures memories of sitting uncomfortably in class as a well-meaning teacher intones words impossible to understand. Pigeon Creek Shakespeare, by contrast, makes the bard accessible — the group takes a warm, welcoming approach, putting on accessible, engaging performances. Normally they don’t have drinking games, though. 

At Buzzed Bard, audience members were encouraged to drink if they heard the names Kate or Romeo, heard a sick Shakespearean burn, or saw someone contemplating a skull. (Executive Director Katherine Mayberry did encourage people to drink responsibly, and also advised that non-alcoholic drinks could be had, which would, no worries, still cause frequent urination).

One conceit of the evening was that the group had found instructions handwritten by the author. How did they do this? By discovering an X made of fossilized horse dung; below it was what that bored student referenced earlier would not have realized was a treasure: Shakespeare’s notes to Richard Burbage, who first played Hamlet. 

The notes were really audience suggestions (there was a lot of audience participation, all of it enjoyable). Kat Hermes, who played the grumpy Dane last year, was terrific, delivering the “To be or not to be” monologue as a T. Rex, as a chicken laying an egg, and as Elsa from Frozen discovering her powers.

The balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, comically gender-swapped, was funny. Maybe it was too long (that’s what she saideth), but it did set up a bit of male toplessness that was not the evening’s most high-brow moment but was among its funniest. You had to be there, maybe. Good news: in 2020, Pigeon Creek will offer more drink-fueled bard madness. Watch their site, and their shows.

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