Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Expats by Sh!t Theatre – Summerhall, Edinburgh
Sh!t Theatre duo Rebecca and Louise are having a great time, serving drinks to the audience and showing photos from their trip to Malta. They’ve recreated The Pub, Valletta’s prime ex-pat drinking hole, where Oliver Reed drank himself to death. The fun starts to seem a little dark when we seen just how relentlessly Reed’s alcoholism is merchandised, with his lethal final drink order available on t-shirts with the heading ‘Legend!’ Louise and Rebecca, operating beneath the heavy disguise of their supposed amateurism, turn this odd, post-colonial, disturbingly corrupt setting into clever, sophisticated political theatre. In Malta to make a show for Valletta’s European Capital of Culture slot, we gradually understand that the version we are seeing could not be performed there. Political content was banned, and they were concerned for the safety of their Maltese friends.
The politics is dark and significant, centring on the 2017 assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Still unsolved, her murder links to the sale of Maltese passports and the question of who gets to be European. Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants drown in boats off the Maltese coast, while the authorities deny any such people exist. It is a real achievement to make such a powerful and important show, tackling a complex web of themes, while also finding time for crowd-surfing. This is Sh!t Theatre’s strongest show yet, a tour-de-force told in their inimitable voices.