DollyWould, Summerhall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
sh!t Theatre with Show And Tell
Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole
Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole
Running time

Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole, who are sh! t Theatre, arrive to a leather jacketed rock star entrance that’s already subverted by their white painted faces, telling the audience about their love of the open enigma that is Dolly Parton in their ‘mainstream crossover hit’, DollyWould

Dolly is a phenomenon. She looks like a real- life Barbie yet beneath the wigs and make up is a shrewd and highly successful business woman. She is her own living breathing brand that is at once her caricatured and authentic self. Most important for her, she is utterly and universally recognisable and her name is synonymous with enormous augmented breasts. It was given to Dolly the sheep who was cloned from an adult ewe's mammary gland. She is a gay icon, inspiring drag acts and apparently losing in a Dolly Drag competition she entered anonymously!

Comedian Kenny Everett created a bearded pastiche of her, “…done in the best PAWSSIBLE taste!” but don’t sit in the front row unless want to be mistaken for Kenny, either Everett or Rogers. They were both linked to Dolly Parton and only one for singing duets with her.

Coming out as lesbian is one thing. Coming out as liking C & W music is another but sh!t Theatre embraces the two as they re-enact their trip to Tennessee to pay homage to Dolly at her eponymous theme park, Dollywood. But in the vicinity of Knoxville, is the Tennessee Body Farm where studies are made of the decomposition process that plays right in to the shows complexities.

On the stage covered in paint sheets and with a load pink balloons trapped inside clothes protectors like weird body bags, sh!t Theatre perform that clever trick of appearing to be daft but actually tackling serious issues like mortality, what passes for reality, plastic surgery, self- image and cloning.

They do this hilariously like wee girls playing in their big sister’s too big shoes to some of Dolly’s great music of course. The mash up of Dolly the sheep and Dolly Parton is reminiscent of the Morvena Banks’ character the Little Girl in the Scottish comedy show Absolutely.

Visuals of journalist Barbara Walters speaking of her interview in 1977 amid ’horses and cowboys and sawdust and mud’ and her probing questions appear as text interspersed with shots of genetic scientist and harpist, Dr Kat Arney.

DollyWould is its very own outrageous theme park on a stage. All done in the best possible taste? Maybe not, but who cares? It’s fearless and fabulous.

4 - 27 August 2017 (not 21), 21.15 age recommend 14+