Edinburgh Review: Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Ex-Pats cover photo

Edinburgh Review: Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Ex-Pats

Edinburgh Review: Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Ex-Pats cover photo
Lyn Gardner Edinburgh Festival avatar
Lyn Gardner Edinburgh Festival
13 August 2019 · Follow on Stagedoor

Sh!t Theatre are on top form. This time, our much loved, seemingly chaotic duo, Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole, are invited by a friend to Malta to make a piece for Valetta European City of Culture. It’s warmer than Hull.

Biscuit and Mothersole reckon it will be a free holiday and make straight for The Pub, a local bar popular with ex-pats and the place where hell-raiser Oliver Reed died while on an epic bender. The Pub has been recreated on stage and the show begins with the pair serving drinks, teaching the audience the Maltese for penis, and showing us their holiday snaps and videos.

It would be easy to mistake this for the bit of a piss-up, but it is very niftily crafted by the pair—together with director Adam Brace—so you don’t initially notice that the sun is going in and the storm clouds are gathering. There is not a moment or an image in this that is wasted, and every single one comes back to bite as the laughter dies in the throat. It is very funny but has a scorpion sting.

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Ex-Pats by Sh!t Theatre. Photo by Aly Wight.

There are 10,000 Brits living in Malta. They call themselves ex-pats. Every year 1000s of people try and make the journey from Libya to Europe in small leaky boats and end up drowned or in Malta in detention centres. What exactly is the difference between an ex-pat and an immigrant, except the fact that the former travels in better, safer conditions?

It turns out that for £650,000 euros the rich can buy themselves a Maltese/EU passport, something that anti-corruption journalist Daphne Carvana Galicia got murdered for drawing attention to on her blog. Her killers have never been brought to justice. Like bumbling amateur detectives, the duo stumble across this story and the piece they are being paid to make for the festival becomes compromised. It turns out that there is no such thing as a free holiday, whether you are making art or going travelling. Scratch beneath the surface of the cloudless skies and azure seas and someone is always paying. Sometimes with their lives.

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Ex-Pats runs at Summerhall Aug 13-25 and then Soho Theatre from October 8.

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