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  • Rowan Malyon

Review: Sh!t Theatre / Or What's Left of Us

Striking the balance between light and dark with unique precision, Sh!t Theatre has created a deeply personal yet completely welcoming show. You’ll sing, you’ll stomp your feet, you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of melancholy, but you won’t feel alone.

A sparse stage greets us: just a couple of chairs, musical instruments, and a stool supporting a lone, red candle. Before the performance starts, the two masters of ceremony, Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole, make their way through the crowd, asking if anyone knows any folk songs or sea shanties. They’re going to the pub after, we should all come along. They’re dressed like Jack in the Green. It’s mad and it’s wonderful.

For the most part, the atmosphere in the room is a happy one. I know I’m not the only one who flinches at the suggestion of a sing-along, and yet Sh!t Theatre manages to get everyone involved without any coaxing. We are gifted beautiful, unpretentious and amusing melodies, such as one chaotic number where we are invited to welcome everyone, our hosts, and, rather wonderfully, a small bowl they have brought with them.

Contrarily, the actual meat of the performance is painful and uniquely intimate. Interwoven with self-deprecating humour, deadpan delivery, and off-the-cuff stories from their personal lives, Rebecca and Louise explain how they found comfort in folk music. The stories that their songs tell encompass the human experience in a cocktail of solemnity and joy. Sh!t Theatre sing about the dark and the light. Celebration and mourning. The living and the dead.

Packed full of celebration, disarming charisma, and some startling tracks from the folk horror Midsommar, this peculiar show insists that it was practically thrown together, but not a beat was missed by these fantastic performers.

Good luck to Becca, Louise, Croydon, and the round bowl!

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