Louise and Rebecca drink Maltese beer – photo – Sh!t Theatre
Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole are Sh!t Theatre. They have performed in Norwich several times, and their work is always worth seeing. Louise and Beccy are theatremakers without equal, and have created another finely honed show which they brought (all the way from Malta) to Norwich Arts Centre, an intimate and friendly venue that is just perfect for small scale but big ambition theatre.
These two have been working together for some time, but they have a particular skill in making a carefully crafted show look like a spontaneous and slightly chaotic event, drawing us ever closer into their very particular and rather intriguing world. Louise and Beccy have a frank and personal style of theatre that sometimes seems almost too close and intimate, creating a dramatic tension even about their own complicated personal relationship with a documentary approach to their narrative. This draws us all into whatever they do – they engage us immediately into their adventures and their narrative.
In this show, they do Malta. This rocky set of Mediterranean islands are close to Libya and a target for many dispossessed refugees who prefer the risk of a deeply hazardous sea crossing to the likely death and torture that may otherwise wait them on mainland Africa. Malta also is happy to offer wealthy Brexiteers the chance to buy their way into a continuing EU valid passport for a measly €650,000. A bargain for the average super yacht owner passing by.
Their lively show uses film clips, photos and audio in a very crisp and fast moving presentation that can leave you breathless at the speed of delivery. Louise and Beccy miss no chance to charm an audience, and this show gives you a chance to sing along, learn Maltese, help them crowd surf and toast them in rum. Oh, and drink a Maltese beer too.
Invited to Malta to put on a theatrical event they introduce us to The Pub, the eponymous venue celebrated amongst other things for being the bar where Oliver Reed drank himself to death. But their trip to Malta takes a darker turn when they start looking into the plight of migrants, the Maltese political system and the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. She was a brave writer who relentlessly exposed corruption in both Maltese politics and the wider business world. For being fearless and honest she was blown to bits.
Although this is undoubtedly agitprop theatre the duo craft a fast moving and very enjoyable show. They get the balance right between putting a serious message across and entertaining us with lots of humour and action. There is even a guest appearance from Beccy’s dog Nala, a cute little mongrel from Spain. Like a Jack Russell without the attitude.
Their show is a poignant commentary on the effects of the right-wing takeover of British politics, where refugees and people from other countries are treated ever more harshly and given more barriers to movement, while the super rich can buy their way through any obstacle with the help of ministers who should serve but merely seem to take. This commentary applies to both Malta and Britain. Their current tour takes them all around Brexit Britain over the next few months.
Rebecca and Louise make us think again about issues of nationality, political integrity and the way the media works. Their anecdotal style is particularly apt for highlighting the clueless duality of the British Brexit supporting expats who enjoy life in a sunny Mediterranean island. They have an uncanny ease while working together with rapid dialogue split phrase by phrase between them with faultless timing. But everything they do is presented in a lively, engaging and just very funny way. With these two around, the future is looking a bit brighter already. Go see them.
© Julian Swainson 2020
Read more here: http://www.shittheatre.co.uk/home.html
JAN 28 to FEB 1 – Theatre Royal, PLYMOUTH
FEB 13 to MAR 14 – Holden Street Theatre, ADELAIDE
APR 8 to 9 – South Street, READING
MAY 1 to 2 – Unity Theatre, LIVERPOOL
JUN 2 – Playhouse, SALISBURY
JUN 4 to 6 – Playhouse, LEEDS
JUN 12 to 13 – The MAC, BELFAST
JUN 18 to 19 – Playhouse, NOTTINGHAM
JUN 25 – Lighthouse, POOLE
JUN 30 – New Theatre Royal, PORTSMOUTH