Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats
- Deborah Chu
- 23 August 2019
A rollicking and riotous dive into the dark underbelly of European politics
In 2018, Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole – otherwise known as experimental theatre company Sh!t Theatre – were invited to Valletta, the capital of Malta, which had been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture that year. The intention was to make a piece about their last year as Europeans, back when the Brexit deadline was 29 March; and so, bolstered by the promise of receiving EU funding for possibly the last time, the pair set off from one island nation to another.
The two set up shop in a watering hole favoured by British expats, aptly named The Pub, which Biscuit and Mothersole recreate for audiences here in Summerhall's main stage, complete with cubed cheese and stale beer. And what results is a show that is hilarious and horrifying in equal measure, and often simultaneously so; a line that elicits a laugh in the first instance will finish in a terrible hush. Motifs are subtly woven throughout the show, accruing deeper and darker meanings with Biscuit and Mothersole's anarchic, yet controlled brand of storytelling.
Through a blend of documentary footage, voice recordings and karaoke, what begins as a rollicking tale of Brits abroad transforms into a deeply sinister exploration of the migrant crisis and the unexplained murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia, we learn, had been investigating corruption in Malta's top echelons at the time of her death, particularly the 'golden passports' being purchased by the wealthy and powerful – many of whom were prominent voices in the Leave campaign. In less able hands, such a wide remit would have been overwhelming; instead, Sh!t Theatre presents a performance that perfectly captures the timbre of our times: a deeply accomplished and riotous call-to-action.
Summerhall, until Sun 25 Aug, 8.05pm, £12 (£10).