Sh!t Theatre's Job Seekers Anonymous explores the frustrations of unemployment
The cabaret-meets-live art performance is anarchic, playful and occasionally shocking
With a manifesto that promises to explore ‘the political, the personal and the down-right perverted’, Sh!t Theatre (Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit) became the toast of the 2013 Fringe with their study of life on the margins Job Seekers Anonymous. Anarchic and playful – and occasionally shocking – it took in songs, religious entreaties to media moguls and slapstick sketches on the frustrations of unemployment.
Fitting into the Behaviour Festival’s enthusiasm for charged political performance, Sh!t Theatre are somewhere between cabaret and live art: Job Seekers Anonymous is a linked series of routines, but it injects a thoroughly contemporary sensibility into themes that have been current since the beginning of the welfare state. Their scattershot approach recalls the controlled chaos of New York cabaret, while their insistence on sharing their vision of modern British life reflects the increasing enthusiasm of theatre-makers for making work that challenges the status quo.
They are never quite as shocking as their name suggests – both Mothersole and Biscuit are endearing performers – and their restless invention and physical skills transform what could be a worthy meditation on being unemployed into a treat of bravura performances, rough theatre and insights into the workings of a society that strives to exclude.
The Arches, Glasgow, Tue 8–Wed 9 Apr.