Review: Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats (Summerhall)
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Expat (noun): a person who lives outside their native country. In Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit’s self-described documentary show, they recount their travels to Malta and their interactions with British expats coming for a bit of sunshine and refugees desperate for safety.
The structure and tone of the show are similar to that of a postcard sent by an overly-excited child; scattered details about activities they did and places they went and people they met. It is in sharp contrast to the show’s dark content. They pick at the typical traveller's tendency to turn a blind eye whenever something that might impinge on holiday vibes comes into view. We'd much rather point out how funny it is to find a Mark and Spencer 2000 miles from the UK than think about the many thousands of people dying just off the coast of Malta. They revel in their tacky tourist glee, as any of us would, but unlike most tourists they face the harsh reality of their sun-soaked destination.
Nevertheless, it is an exceedingly fun show. Sea shanties are sung, rum is slugged, and the crowd is surfed. The politics are woven into the performance not to preach to the audience, but as though the true extent of the crisis and the hypocrisy of the Maltese and British governments is dawning on them in real-time. Difficult to watch, but approachable, Sh!t Theatre’s brand of political theatre is something that is sorely needed right now. Four stars.
Whispers from the Crowd:
“This is the third show I’ve seen today. It shows you what to think without telling you how to think. Some political shows have a very clear message, this has a message but it’s done really well.”