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Pish! Pah! And pass the jug.

Why, thou deboshed fish, thou, announces drunken jester Trinculo to the monster, Caliban, in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

“Was there ever man a coward that hath drunk so much sack as I today?”

Was there ever challenge enough to a New Zealander to scull a beer every time someone says “monster” during a production of Shakespeare’s mystic and magical rom-com, The Tempest?

There is now.

The Silicon Valley Shakespeare company is co-producing the play as a “Shakesbeerience” which is a part of its popular “a pub, a pint, and a play” series in which professional actors unpack the language in a fun and accessible way.

Evolution Theatre Company’s artistic director Dinna Myers plays Gonzales (Gonzala, rather) in a Zoom-based, staged reading of Shakespeare’s mystic and magical rom-com.

The Tempest centres on scholar-magus Prospero and daughter Miranda who are marooned on a tropical, if not trippy, island. With the help of aerial spirit, Ariel — one of Prospero’s two slaves; the other is the monster (scull!) — the ageing magus invokes a storm at sea to shipwreck the vessel that his king and courtiers are returning to Italy on from a party in North Africa.

Everyone is washed to shore unharmed, but separated from one another. Prospero then plans to take revenge for his exile but, wouldn’t you know it, a burgeoning romance between Miranda and Alonso’s son Ferdinand paves the possibility of forgiveness, redemption and a return to the mainland.

Designed for people around the world who are stuck in the desert island of their living room, thanks to lockdown (ah, memories), the free production (a koha is welcome) is an excuse to bust out some tropical island drinks with the tiny umbrellas. Or beersies. Or some sack, and have a monster (you know what to do) of a time. Book early. These are often standing room only events.

The Silicon Valley Shakespeare company, including Dinna Myers, performs a staged reading of The Tempest on Sunday, August 23 at 2pm (NZ time). For more information and to book a viewing, visit https:\\www.svshakespeare.org/tickets

MONSTER, MONSTER: Russian actor Fyodor Paramonov, who played the abomination Caliban in the 1905 production of Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, is not part of the Zoom production of the play that features Evolution Theatre Company founder Dinna Myers, but, as part of the Shakesbeerience, viewers are welcome to have a drink whenever they hear the word “monster” in the show.Picture by Wikipedia Commons