Sh!t Theatre’s new show reeks of rum, hangovers and corruption, mainly because they Drink Rum With Expats. Maggie Kelly reviews, over a drink:

It’s just madness. But then, would I ever go to a Sh!t Theatre show and not expect madness?

Sh!T Theatre Summerhall

I’ve learnt a lot about Malta.

I’ve drunk a shot of cheap rum, which I haven’t done since my uni days and plan to never do again.

I gave a speed-lesson in crowd surfing to the two elderly women next to me.

I still don’t understand the apparently universal attraction of dogs.

Sh!T Theatre Summerhall
Sh!t Theatre (image courtesy of Charlie Cauchi)

Sh!t Theatre specialize in patchwork style shows, expository pieces sewn together by a tantalizing yet grounded charm. On the night I’m in, one of the two performers makes a mistake when speaking Maltese. She apologizes, and her colleague rubs her arm.

No worries, not a big deal. Let’s just do that bit again.

And it’s this genuine kindness that makes us feel so utterly secure and totally willing to go wherever Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole venture. Their relationship and interaction is the lynchpin of a very complex, multi-faceted narrative.

Sh!T Theatre Summerhall
Louise Mothersole

There’s a strand about refugees fleeing from Libya and being held in the waters surrounding Malta in ships, while countries argue about what to do with them. During the Brexit debate one of these ships capsized, killing 70 people. This obviously wasn’t reported in the English papers.

There’s a strand about Biscuit and Mothersole drinking lots of rum with English expats at The Pub and trying to create a performance that is distinctly not political in front of the British High Commissioner of Malta.

There’s a strand about the assassination of Daphne.

Sh!T Theatre Summerhall

All this is sprinkled with a light-hearted dusting of roundabouts, penises and Oh Dear God more alcohol. It’s the sort of pub politics that reeks of a cheap beer and a morning-after headache.

And it feels thrown together, even though we are acutely aware that hours and hours of work have gone into making each move, each repetition serve the overarching story.

It’s pretty damn phenomenal.

★★★★★

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Expats is now playing at Summerhall until 26 August 2019. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit the festival website.