Home Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 3rd May, 2018
In 2017 Sh!t Theatre hit the theatrical nail on the political head with their epic creation Letters to Windsor House – a firm knee to the groin of the UK housing crisis, as well as a titillatingly silly examination of one man’s adult baby fetish. But the fame and the fortune seemed to lead to a fall out, with genuine thoughts about calling it quits after seven years together.
Thankfully though, a disturbing mutual obsession seems to have saved the day. Sh!t Theatre are back, this time with a new show that is much less serious, one which lets them have a bit more fun. This is a topic close to both their hearts, something that they both feel passionately about and feel the need to share with the rest of the world. The chosen subject? Dolly Parton.
As Becca and Louise are proud to point out, DollyWould is their big, mainstream crossover hit. But there’s little that’s mainstream about this, this show swerves all over the road and it takes everyone with it. There’s a dizzying rollercoaster scene mid-way through this performance and that’s probably the best way to describe the whole experience.
DollyWould tells no story and has no discernable plot. It’s not even a toe-tapping, documentary-style celebration of the life and times of the undisputed queen of country and western music. Instead it is a one-hour-long blast of wacky entertainment: there are lots of fascinating titbits of Dolly-related information; holiday videos of Becca and Louise’s pilgrimage to Tennessee; there’s even a jaw-dropping attempt to photocopy the spiritual essence of Dolly, which seemed to work, I think.
Constructed from video clips and live musical performance, DollyWould is a tits-out extravaganza of homoerotic unpredictability. There’s no explaining or rationalising this, Sh!t Theatre have done it again, they’ve done some stuff for about an hour and it’s really very good.
|Visual pleasure||Fantastic use of video clips to go with the madcap antics on stage. So much to see, so little time to take it all in.||5|
|Auditory pleasure||Singing, guitar playing, harmonica, improvised middle class beatboxing – plus the toe-tapping fun of a few bursts from Dolly herself; an absolute unit of musical delight.||5|
|Architecture & Theme||Yes it’s all fun and games but there seems to be a weird background of seriousness to it, like there’s a warning that nothing this silly and funny can be true. Came close a couple of times to grinding to a halt, which slightly disturbed the flow.||3|
|Artistic delivery||Outstanding performances – as was pointed out during the show it is all scripted, yet large portions of the show seemed to be some kind of anarchic stand-up improvisation.||5|
|Overall impact||You’ll need to have a little lie down after this, and also put Jolene on at normal speed, just to get that sinister, low-speed baritone version out of your mind.||4|
|0||Detrimental – This aspect of the performance was so bad that it made the overall experience worse|
|1||Weak – This aspect of the performance was poor|
|2||Adequate – This aspect of the performance was perfectly acceptable, though nothing special|
|3||Good – This aspect of the performance was above average, it pleased in some way|
|4||Excellent – This aspect of the performance was much better than normal, it was impressive|
|5||Awe-inspiring – This aspect of the performance was exceptional, new boundaries were pushed.|