Letters to Windsor House

Picture the scene: two women in letterbox face paint — a pair of punkish, postmodern clowns — sit on a couple of threadbare armchairs underneath an enormous screen, sipping beers, surrounded by stacked cardboard boxes. Cue the lights. What follows is an hour of often surreal, always eccentric theatre, packed with singing, dancing, terrible brass covers of Rule Britannia and walking postboxes. This show was only ever going to be weirdly good, or horribly, pretentiously bad.

It’s a mad, unfiltered, often hilarious experience, where you never know what to expect next. All you know is that it’ll be hugely bizarre, a little rough, and thoroughly, uniquely entertaining.

Becca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole — the two halves of Sh!t Theatre — live in Windsor House (no, not that one), and they’ve been getting a lot of mail intended for previous tenants. Fed up with it occupying their ‘awards shelf’, they decide that enough’s enough: with one glance at the law, they decide to open the letters, and start finding out who these people are. This show, based on their real life experiences, is the result.

Key to the show’s feel is what could kindly be called a rough-and-ready aesthetic — it is, to be less kind, a little bit shit. But it totally works. The performers are governed by a supreme sense of urgency: they don’t have time to waste sitting around composing prettily polished art. They need to make a statement now, to make art that matters today, not art that will be perfectly refined next year. There’s a vitality to every second of Letters to Windsor House, a sense of irrepressible zeal in the performers, which regularly breaks out in feverish fits of live-looped music, dance, and set-destruction.

It’s not an easy piece to put in a box. It’s part documentary, part detective story, part multimedia jam session, part absolutely bloody bonkers. It’s a cry of frustration from a generation shafted by a housing crisis, concerned about dispossessed capital in a Neo-Dickensian London. It’s also, simultaneously, an intimate portrait of the performers themselves, by turns heart-wrenching and -warming; an unflinchingly honest document of their friendship at a certain point in time.

It’s a mad, unfiltered, often hilarious experience, where you never know what to expect next. All you know is that it’ll be hugely bizarre, a little rough, and thoroughly, uniquely entertaining.

Reviews by Jamie P Robson

Pleasance Dome

Often Onstage

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Zach & Viggo: Thunderflop

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Omid Djalili: Schmuck for a Night

★★★
Assembly Roxy

Chopping Chillies

★★★★
C venues - C nova

Communicate

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A loophole in the Postal Services Act says you can open other people’s mail under certain circumstances. This is that certain circumstance… Songs, politics, dodgy landlords and detective work: Another potentially felonious show by the award-winning Sh!t Theatre for Generation Rent. ‘A young company who are really finding their own distinctive voice’ (Lyn Gardner, Guardian). ‘The rising stars of performance art’ (Daily Telegraph). ‘Bloody marvellous’ (Independent). ‘Lesbians’ (MumbleTheatre.net). Commissioned by the Harlow Playhouse. Supported by Arts Council for England. **** (ExeuntMagazine.com, Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage.com, Stage, Fest, BroadwayBaby.com). ***** (Three Weeks, Edinburgh Festival Magazine).