The idea for writing the stage show “A Brief History of Beer” came to Trish Parry and William Glenn, perhaps not surprisingly, over pints of beer in Great Britain.
Sitting in a pub two years ago in Stratford-Upon-Avon in London, the performing partners were searching for a real-world topic to depict.
“We know people who do theosophical shows about topical subjects,” Parry said. “We thought, ‘Why not beer?’ ”
The two spent a year researching their subject. The more digging they did, the more compelling the story became. Fun tidbits such as how cave dwellers settled down a few millennia ago to make beer, not bread. And how Great Britain fought a plague of gin consumption by steering its citizens instead toward brew.
“It was when we went to the British library and started reading old documentation that we saw how much beer affected society,” Parry said.
The show’s narrative is driven by Parry and Glenn as they navigate a very familiar spaceship through time at the helm of a “quantum pint machine.” Otherwise known as a pub.
“Imagine ‘Star Trek’ mixed with comedy and a drinking game,” Parry said.
Yes, drinking game. The audience helps propel the pint machine when it runs low on power by drinking its fuel source — beer. And Parry and Glenn throw down a pint in quick fashion during the show.
It helps that they’re performing Sunday at New World Brewery in Ybor City instead of at Jobsite Theater in the Straz Center, which is producing the show.
“They’ve been performing the shows at pubs all along all over the world,” said David M. Jenkins, Jobsite’s producing artistic director.
“Instead of bringing the beer to the theater, we thought, ‘Why not bring the theater to the beer?’ ” Jenkins said. “New World seemed the perfect place for us to do that.”