DramaFeaturedLondonReview

Sh!t Theatre: Evita Too – Soho Theatre, London

Reviewer: Richard Maguire

Creator: Sh!t Theatre

Last time Dolly Parton got the Sh!t Theatre treatment; this time it’s Eva Perón. But in true Sh!t Theatre style, DollyWould had little to do with Dolly Parton, and Evita Too has little do with Evita, now forever immortalised in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. Instead, Evita Too is about the first female president in the world, Isabel Perón, so forgotten that even Argentinians have never heard of her. Sh!t Theatre’s history lesson is an informative riot.

Evita Too is definitely Becca and Louise’s most ambitious show to date with quite a few original songs and some funny choreography. No longer the recipients of Art Council funding, they need a sure-fire hit, and so what better than a musical about a woman embroiled in politics. It worked for A.L.W., so it may work for them too. And when they roller-skate on to stage to the stirring start of Phantom of the Opera, naked apart from amazing Technicolor dreamcoats, it works very well.

In a way Isabel Perón’s story is so bizarre that it doesn’t need a song and dance structure to make it any weirder, but that would mean losing Sh!t Theatre’s idiosyncratic style which merges epic history with their own autobiographies. In this show, Becca and Louise examine motherhood. As both Eva and Isabel Peron had no children, Becca and Louise face their own choices on whether to have children or not. They don’t want them now, but perhaps they could get their eggs frozen for any future decisions. But the process is costlier than they thought.

They ironically call this blending of histories – their own and other people’s – Holiday Snaps Performance Art, as they take photos of themselves conducting research whether that be in Dollywood, or in this case, Argentina. When the pair finally reaches Buenos Aires, the result is hilarious. They take us round the city like Jane MacDonald or like, Channel 5’s new celebrity travel host, Pam Ayres. This is a compliment as both the TV presenters have the common touch and there is something so homely, warm and welcoming about Sh!t Theatre that being dragged onto stage feels like a privilege rather than an embarrassment.

Even though they make the audience laugh when they talk of Isabel’s rise and fall from power, it’s never in a cruel way and quite rightly it’s the men who are the villains in this story. More surprising than the tale of Isobel is what happened to Eva after she had died. Her body was displayed in a glass coffin, and somehow made its way to Madrid where Isobel tended the decades-old corpse. Sh!t Theatre use a puppet to represent the body to comical but eerie effect.

For 80-minutes, the energy on stage never wavers and for all the chaos everything is tightly scripted. Evita Too is Sh!t Theatre at their best; funny, feminist and daft.

Runs until 15 October 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Oh what a riot

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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