Our tiny island has been (kind of) taking over the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. The New Victorians have been receiving standing ovations at practically all their performances of MARA, and they’re also targeting the kids with their performance of Rave and Behave.
But they’re not the only people representing Malta at the Fringe this year. UK based company ‘Sh!t Theatre’ are presenting their show Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats, based on the time they spent in Malta last year.
Sh!t Theatre is a performance art duo comprised of Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole
And in 2018 they visited Malta as a part of the programme for Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture, when they set up residence at The Pub in Valletta and – you know, drank rum with expats. Being Brits, it’s no surprise that they were drawn to The Pub, a popular location amongst many for the fact that it is where Oliver Reed took his last drink(s).
The initial idea was to then create a performance celebrating the Brits’ last year as being Europeans (because Brexit, remember?), and they had stops planned all over the EU. But it seems Malta provided them with more than enough information and they created a piece based entirely here.
Whilst drinking rum with expats living in Malta, they picked up on some tales from across the island
Tidbits from our past, characteristics of our people, secrets and gossip… you name it. The end result is a multi-disciplinary production that introduces audiences to the island of Malta, with a bit of a darker undertone.
Biscuit and Mothersole do a great job of ‘imitating’ two people sharing a drink at The Pub, they share with us some sound recordings of their conversations with expats and chuck in several silly and light-hearted jokes throughout. Including a song about the word żobb, and a drinking game that the audience can join in on.
But their conversations with expats served a more journalistic purpose
The piece discusses Malta’s role in the current immigrant crisis, the whole passport-selling debacle, and works of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The net result is a piece of political theatre that grabs audiences by the arms and pulls them through a whirlwind of emotions.
In a review by The Stage, it was described as “political theatre at its most raucous – funny, furious, daft and anarchic – but with an underlying power”.
Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats is on at The Fringe until the 25th of August
Taking place at the Main Hall in Summerhall, and if you happen to be in Edinburgh you can get your tickets here. And whilst you’re at it, get your tickets for MARA and Rave & Behave too, because it’s clear that our girls are killing the game over at the Fringe.