Things Get Dolly Mix-Ed Up At Soho Theatre

Dollywould, Soho Theatre ★★☆☆☆

By David Lloyd-Davies Last edited 15 months ago

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Things Get Dolly Mix-Ed Up At Soho Theatre Dollywould, Soho Theatre 2

DollyWould is the latest offering from queer female duo Sh!t Theatre, whose unapologetically shabby style of presentation meets somewhere in the overlap of performance art, improvisation and music. Using a series of uncomfortable juxtapositions (original/clone, genuine/fake, alive/dead, etc.), the piece puts under the microscope the question of living an authentic life. The bandwagon pulling us through the show is the pair’s trip to Dollywood and the Body Farm told through photo montage, musical layering, and a clipped Dolly Parton interview for reference.

It is difficult to criticise the decidedly raw presentation style — after all, they’ve named themselves after it — but it does result in a surreal on-stage collage of ideas that are often entertaining, occasionally bewildering and only rarely gratuitous. Despite the chaos, the pair come across as genuinely likeable. Towards the end as they hang from a child’s swing set dressed as enormous, pendulous breasts, one really gets a sense that they are in this more for the art than the entertainment. The promised blend of science and pop culture never quite comes together as the artsy-ness of the whole experience detracts from delivering a central message that was made clearer in the blurb than the performance. If nothing else, DollyWould challenges the audience to see theatre differently.

DollyWould, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE. Until  14 April 2018.

Last Updated 26 March 2018