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Drunk Shakespeare
Drunk Shakespeare
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Drunk Shakespeare

New York, NY
Actors get drunk and recite Shakespeare. What more do you want?
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About Drunk Shakespeare

Reading the Bard’s canon feels like a chore or a homework assignment for many people, so why not add a little fun (and alcohol) to the proceedings? Enter Drunk Shakespeare, a riotous reinvention of the Bard’s canon (the plays rotate). If you like Drunk History on Comedy Central, you'll love this show. Get Drunk Shakespeare tickets on TodayTix.

Booze and the Bard are a match made in theatre heaven. Even Shakespeare's tragedies become comedies when alcohol plays a role. Shakespeare's plays may be centuries old and their plots known the world over, but whether you know his shows inside out or are totally unfamiliar, you'll never know what'll happen on any given night at Drunk Shakespeare. And the best part? You can join in on the boozy fun, too. This makes Drunk Shakespeare a great, unique option for parties or nights out with friends. Where else can you say you had a drink inside a hidden NYC lounge during a play — with the actors?

Framed as a meeting of The Drunk Shakespeare Society, the actors gather in a library to perform a Shakespeare show. A different actor is selected as the “drunk” performer each night; they take five pre-show shots of whiskey and proceed to perform their part, at the whim of the muse of alcohol. The four sober actors are in charge of keeping the show on track while also following the inebriated one’s demands and playing off their acting choices. Whether you have a drink yourself or not, you'll have plenty of fun watching the drunkards wreak havoc.

Slate said the experience is “the best thing to ever happen to the theater,” and The New York Times calls the show “zany, rowdy, and debaucherous.” All the world's a stage, and men and women merely drinkers, at Drunk Shakespeare. Get tickets to Drunk Shakespeare in New York now.

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Tell Me More

Chances are you didn’t actually read Romeo and Juliet in high school. And if you did, did you really understand it without watching Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio make out in a pool in Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation? Such a fun, revelrous take on Shakespeare, like the one in that movie, is exactly what you can expect from Drunk Shakespeare.

Having performed continually since 2014, Drunk Shakespeare has racked up more Shakespeare performances than any other company in New York. It's been performed in many spaces in that time — it started out in an actual bar, Quinn's Bar, before moving to Roy Arias Stages in Times Square. It had a brief stint at 777 Theatres until the Covid-19 pandemic, and when the show reopened in 2021, it moved to the Gallery at Green Fig, a lounge tucked inside the Green Fig Restaurant inside the Yotel hotel.

Even if you've seen Drunk Shakespeare in New York before, it's worth a return trip — you can catch a different play, and the new venue will make the experience feel fresh while still providing an intimate, exclusive feel. As always, craft cocktails and other spirits are available for purchase.

What to Watch For

  • You can be the King — at a price. At each Drunk Shakespeare show, two guests are crowned the King or Queen (and Squire), and these audience members receive premium seating, crowns to wear, cocktails, champagne, and some decision-making powers throughout the play.
  • Drunk Shakespeare used to be performed at a real bar, but now it’s performed at the Lounge at the Green Fig. Don’t worry, alcohol is still served.
  • The venue of Drunk Shakespeare is set up to look like a library, with hundreds of classic-looking books and lots of Shakespearean Easter eggs hidden throughout.
  • An audience member joins the chosen drunk actor for a pre-show shot to prove that the glasses are indeed filled with alcohol.
  • Getting drunk is not an option — for the actors. The casting notice for the show calls for professional actors with Shakespeare experience who are also willing to imbibe on the job at least once a week.
  • If you ever find yourself in Chicago, you can experience Drunk Shakespeare there, too.
Run time

90 minutes (no intermission)

Start date

November 1st, 2014

Genre

Musical

Venue

The Garden

Age

21+ only. Photo ID required.

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