Sh!t Theatre present: Sh!t Theatre's JSA (Job Seekers Anonymous)

Mon 20th – Sun 26th August 2012

reviews

Rivkah Brown

at 01:22 on 21st Aug 2012

0agrees

0disagrees

Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit are out to make a statement. The pair have clearly abandoned subtlety a long time ago and gone for something more Brechtian, clearly indicating their intention to interrogate the depressions of the Dole. They do so with chaotic frenzy, though their anarchy is almost so extreme as to seem studied (indeed, Mothersole admits to having an MA in Theatre Performance).

The pair draw from their own experience as jobless graduates, a near tautology in today’s society, to tell a series of wryly-told anecdotes; though these often awkwardly segue into one another. Amidst these, the moments of brutal honesty about their family lives and the trials of being unemployed are most refreshing. Their more self-conscious attempts at breaking down the fourth wall, such as by literally labelling unemployed audience members with stickers reading ‘SHIT’, feel stale, and in a final turn of events become rather embarrassing.

Some of the topics the pair light upon with political commentary, such as the burqa, are neither wholly original nor relevant to the JSA, though the musical form their critique takes certainly pleases the crowd. The fashioning of newspaper burqas touches on the faintly offensive, particularly for a duo who otherwise make a lot of political sense. The Olympics is a far safer and indeed topical a point to take up, which they do, and with far greater success; this is largely thanks to Olympics ring-coloured hoola-hoops, which become the basis for some rip-roaring, physical-theatre-cum-circus-performance.

As the show wears on, Sh!t Theatre loses focus somewhat, and begins to launch political attacks at random, from sweat shop labour to media dishonesty and, in a gag of Boyle-esque proportions, David Cameron’s dead son. Such low blows give the performance a tinge of desperation, unnecessary when the intended focus was so meaty, and an unhappy note upon which to end the show. That said, Mothersole and Biscuit are certainly refining the skill of making political issues funny (though they should give up simply making fun out of politics); as long as they can do that, people will want to hear what they have to say.

agree
disagree

Charlie Brookhouse

at 09:57 on 21st Aug 2012

0agrees

0disagrees

At the beginning of the show, Sh!t Theatre’s Booise (Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit) pasted a sticker with the word SH!T onto my big red EFR jumper. As one of the obvious Sh!ts in the audience, at the end I would be conscripted to clean the stage. This was humour on a different level: I guess this must be the Sh!t way of courting student reviewers. It’s only right then for Sh!t Theatre to warrant a Sh!t review (not a sh*t review). And so anything they do I’m going to do meta: I’m So Meta Even This Acronym. #hashtag.

Both comics got off to a shaky start whilst they did a bit of physical geography by exploring the undulations of their own bodies. This brief bit of stand-up was hastily interrupted as Louise’s chair slipped from beneath her and she was, ironically, forced to sit down. In another, the duo riff on the word asbestos - it’s something ‘close to the heart’, literally, ‘in the lungs’ - while Rebecca discusses the word’s etymology, a semantic field alight with a sense of inextinguishable flames.

It’s worth cutting some slack for the Booise double act because levelling expectations with a name like Sh!t Theatre is really a form of provocation. Their confident commitment to the show means that it is hard to for an audience to sum up the courage to disrupt this precarious balancing act. Frequently, Booise lose their bearings in the comic mayhem, at which point each inadvertently echoes the previous words of the other half, almost exactly repeating their earlier words. Repetition then turns into synchronisation. Lines are double-tracked, somewhat robotically, before one half endeavours to rescue the performance from monotony. Beneath the mess though, Sh!t Theatre do show their own muddling to be a conscious reflection of the institutions they satirise, journalism included, and it’s rare to find such caustic humour so endearing.

agree
disagree

Audience Avg.

0 votes, 0 comments

Click here for more event information

cast involved

other events on

Version 0.3.7a