Sh!t Theatre presents a fun and frivolous evening covering the life of the oft-forgotten first female president in the world, Isabel Perón. Overshadowed by Juan Perón’s first wife Eve Perón (Evita), this dynamic duo explores the impact of the infamous Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and attempt to right its wrongs as they offer their zany history lesson full of nudity, songs, roller-skates, and silliness.
Without a fourth wall, performers Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit are the perfect hosts. Commanding the stage adorned in capes, masks, and a wide array of colorful costumes, the pair ensures the audience is always enjoying themselves, interacting, and at times up on stage playing the roles they didn’t get the Arts Council funding to budget for. Admirably, Biscuit and Mothersole ventured to both Argentina and Madrid for research as they developed this piece. On a shoestring budget, they captured and created the content that is displayed via projection throughout the production. Along with a subplot about the freezing of their eggs, the projections and footage also ground the piece in a sense of their genuine identities.
Brimming with fascinating and ludicrous facts about bodies pickled and preserved in glass coffins, coups, death squads, elections, exiles, and war crime trials, it is the quirky methods by which the story unfolds that allow us to cope with what otherwise seems like heavy material. Mothersole and Biscuit display great skill as singers, blending their voices into beautiful and interesting harmonies throughout the entire show, “Happyland” is a genuine favorite number and all too catchy tune. With their small budget, they rely on a few props, the audience, and each other. This proves two things: necessity really is the mother of invention and secondly, long-term collaborators have much to offer the theatre. Building, bouncing, and catapulting off each other to the sheer delight of the audience.
In their eccentric documentary theatre genre, they refer to Margaret Thatcher only by the name of Gillian Anderson. They display wonderfully stupid footage of Andrew Lloyd Webber working as a DJ and some very funny cartoonish edits of historical video footage. The docu-musical is retrospective, current, and in the end very poignant. Here, two women succeed in shining a light on a figure that should be taught in Argentina’s history books, let alone the world’s. Here, two women remind the audience that the most powerful thing a storyteller can do is say “I was here and this happened.”
Evita Too runs until 15 October at the Soho Theatre.
Review: Matthew Pierce Photo: Holly Revell