Sh!t Theatre’s smart, slick and slippery DollyWould picks apart our ideas about fame, authenticity and immortality with a distinctive voice and style that’s like nothing else I’ve seen.
A female duo, white face paint, alcoholic drinks – you know the drill. Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, aka Sh!t Theatre, return to Summerhall for the second Fringe outing of DollyWould – proudly self-proclaimed to be their “mainstream crossover” and born out of the duo’s admiration for the country singer and their need to do something about it.
The title’s an obvious play on the icon’s self-built (I doubt literally) Tennessee theme park that the company visited – and the show fuses interviews with Dolly and videos, pictures and memorabilia from Louise and Rebecca’s transatlantic trip with research done on another ‘Dolly’, who equally left its mark on the world.
Ideas of fame, authenticity and immortality are picked apart with the wry self-awareness characteristic of the company; what’s lovely is despite the (frequently hilarious) ambivalence demonstrated, it really does seem to have come from a place of love. We watch them make their own country soundtrack live with the use of loop pedals, put woolly blond wigs and sparkly pink dresses on, become the star’s giant fake tits (one each) and swing and sing and swing some more.
It’s so wonderful and refreshing to see two young women not only make creative and critical theatre, but also really enjoy their time on stage, and time together. The pair is confident with audience interaction, embrace mistakes and make the most of great improv skills. Entertainment isn’t a bad word after all, and Sh!t Theatre are not afraid to use it.
The whole concept seems to come full circle when it turns out someone did a university assignment about Sh!t Theatre themselves. Are they becoming a bit like either ‘Dolly’, getting cloned and immortalised in their own right? It’s a show that is self-reflective and revealing; it carries the point of view of two young female creatives with a distinctive voice and style. Slick, dynamic, slippery and smartly-constructed, DollyWould is like nothing else I’ve seen and that’s what you want from a good Fringe show.