My Festival Q&A: Sh!t Theatre

Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole of Sh!t theatre had big plans for their 2020 Fringe show, but then coronavirus got in the way. Never mind, they tell Andrew Eaton-Lewis, they’re doing a work-in progress on Zoom instead...

Sh!t Theatre: "We've also been doing a YouTube Adult Baby Creche in which you watch us eat yoghurt for an hour"
Sh!t Theatre: "We've also been doing a YouTube Adult Baby Creche in which you watch us eat yoghurt for an hour"

Q: What were you planning to do at this year’s festival?

A: It’s our tenth year at the Fringe and our ten-year ­anniversary as Sh!t Theatre, so we were planning a Sh!t-Decade-10-year-anniversary-special for Fringe, either at Summerhall (as it’s also their 10th Fringe-iversary) or back at our first ever Free Fringe venue, in the basement of a nightclub in Leith – which we shared with a South ­African mentalist, a Japanese gypsy-funk band, and an act called The Singing Acupuncturist. Just before we made a decision about our Edinburgh anniversary show, though, we got a dream Soho Theatre commission for a big musical extravaganza we’ve been planning for years and years, which would have to open in London… so we were also maybe about to miss our first ever Edinburgh Festival Fringe and spend August full of regret.

Hide Ad

Q: What are you doing instead?

A: We’ve spent a few months making animal videos, writing lockdown songs and crafting our Covid masterpiece, a tribute video to the Icelandic Eurovision entry. Our 2016 Fringe show, Letters to Windsor House, has been released online so we’ve been doing some stuff around that, including a YouTube Adult Baby Creche in which you watch us eat yoghurt for an hour. In August we have our first work-in-progress on Zoom of the ten-year anniversary show. (The big commission got Corona-postponed.) Also, Becca is going to travel up to Leeds to see Louise for the first time since March – we are looking forward to seeing each other.

Q: What impact has the ­lockdown had on you?

A: We were in Australia on tour with Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Expats, about to fly via China to the States for more shows. The US dates and our UK tour was cancelled/postponed and so we haven’t seen each other since Heathrow Airport on 18 March. We now have no live gigs until spring 2021, except two weeks of our Christmas show Sh!t Actually at HOME Manchester this December, because people would literally risk death* to watch anything to do with Love Actually.

*It will be Very Safe Actually

Q: What do you think the future of theatre looks like?

Hide Ad

A: Theatre is dead, long live Content!

Q: What do you think the future of the Edinburgh festivals looks like?

A: Hopefully, full of Sh!t.

Hide Ad

Q: What’s your favourite memory of the Edinburgh festivals?

A: Louise had a veggie toad in the hole at Hunt & Darton café in 2013 during a particularly bleak Fringe season which made her cry, possibly with joy. Towards the end of that Fringe, we won two awards in one day, then came in the next morning and played to 12 people, which was our biggest audience so far that year.

Q: Do you think the world would be a better or a worse place after corona­virus, and why?

A: That probably depends on how much money you have.

Q: What’s the most fun you’ve had online?

A: We’re both very fond of a particular singing bird on YouTube.

Hide Ad

Q: Please recommend a fun thing you can do while social distancing.

A: During lockdown, Becca made a cardboard hat that is also a pub. The pub is called the Bat & Pangolin and is thatched. The windows are for your eyes, you drink through the door and you can wear it and pub crawl around in the safety of your own home.

Hide Ad

Q: Finally, please name a favourite piece of music that sums up this year for you.

Talking Heads – Heaven

Sh!t Theatre are Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole. You can watch their new work in progress show on 9 August at www.atticartsclub.com/programme2020 and register for tickets at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sht-theatre-a-work-in-progress-tickets-113929399902. Their Fringe First winning show Letters to Windsor House can be watched online until 3 August at www.showandtelluk.com/event/show-and-tell-live-letters-to-windsor-house

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Hide Ad

Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director