DollyWould

Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole
Sh!t Theatre
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

DollyWould

Mammaries, memorabilia and decomposing bodies dominate Fringe First Sh!t Theatre’s ‘mainstream crossover hit’.

Total Theatre Award-winners Becca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole have departed from political polemics (rent issues in Letters to Windsor House and medical research in Guinea Pigs On Trial) to script a tribute brimming with affection and affectation to their heroine Dolly Parton.

A bonkers montage of leaps and associations range through Dolly’s humble Country ’n’ Western beginnings, aspirations, branded kitsch tat and false graves.

Multimedia focuses on the press obsession with Dolly’s body and sexuality overlooking her charitable works while snippets of song accompany rollercoaster rides and Mateus Rosé swigging.

Holiday snaps of an Arts Council-funded research tour of Tennessee’s number one tourist attraction (where everything is as real as live fireworks on DVD) are interspersed with those of myriad gift shops, toilet breaks and the neighbouring body farm. And the ultimate holiday memento—a portrait of the queen of country—permanently inked into their thighs.

There are plenty of clones—a three-mothers-and-no-father sheep forever rotating on a Lazy Susan and drag queens out-Dollying Ms Parton with bigger hair, bouncier boobs, and, er, rhinier rhinestones (not to mention the lips and teeth, lips and teeth)—and heaps of bodies whether cosmetically enhanced, tattooed, rotting under careful scrutiny or exposed through strategically cut T-shirts.

Juxtapositioning immortality and death, the real and the fake, the unique and the clone, Biscuit and Mothersole have great voices, brilliant timing and weird imagination.

It’s mainly all quite silly really with the duo wearing a beanbag breast each while hanging on a swing or leaping on top of one another to pop pink balloons for no apparent reason other than it is really quite good fun.

Sometimes amusing, sometimes tedious, sometimes apposite, sometimes flat: a mixed bag.

Reviewer: Karen Bussell