SHIT FINDS LOVE
14/04/2018 - 14/04/2018
Back by popular demand the smash hit show returns for one night only.
One night. Everything required in a relationship before marriage. The best music playlist ever created. And shit from around the house. 8 fans, a helmet, 2 buckets, inflatable toys, a nerf gun, 500 balls, a helicopter, 4 and a half buckets of confetti, one lonely soul. Will shit find love? Will shit find you?
Last year audiences called it, “risky, clever, brilliant, hilarious, high energy, bloody funny, the best love story ever.”
Get your tickets fast before it sells out
Old Boys Theatre, Christ’s College
Saturday 14th April, 8pm
Tickets available through The Court Theatre:
Stage Manager – Alex Wright
Tech – Mark Squire
Photos – Rachel Pugh
Theatre , Solo ,
A messy, silly spectacle made with energy, creativity and wit
Review by Erin Harrington 15th Apr 2018
William Burns’ show Shit Finds Love is an anarchic yet lo-fi version of ‘The Game of Life’, in which you win big by finding love, partnering up and procreating.
Burns, who has developed this show through Two Productions’ mentorship programme, takes on an affable, low-status clown persona (‘Shit’) whose geeky orange glasses are always falling off his face (a muck up? A running gag?).
Early on, Shit calls up a female ‘volunteer’, who gamely becomes his love interest. The fact that she stays on stage with him throughout the whole 45-minute show is a huge ask, and she deals with her role with admirable patience and aplomb, but this has the unintended(?) effect that it feels a bit like the ensuing relationship, from meet-cute to marriage-and-baby, kinda just happens to her.
There is no dialogue; instead, ‘narration’ is provided by a cascading series of music cues, which Burns controls using a remote, whose lyrics tell the story of Shit’s search for love. We start with some Queen (can anybody find me somebody to love?) and Lionel Richie (hello – is it me you are looking for?), and it ramps up the absurdity curve from there. We move through the touchpoints of a ‘normal’ relationship – cheesy dates, holidays, celebrations, fights, break ups and make ups, and finally marriage. This is effectively sustained, and it creates an ongoing sense of anticipation and release.
These musical cues also augment and enable some neat visual gags. Shit races around the stage setting up increasingly chaotic prop jokes which use a shipping container’s worth of cheap crap and everyday stuff from around the house. It’s clearly taken a bit of planning and set up. The whole thing is endearingly cheap and cheerful, from the bits of cardboard that lead us up the stairs and into the Old Boys’ Theatre at Christ’s College, to the precarious 4m high wall of brown cardboard boxes that make up the backdrop, to the toys and props and popcorn and balloons and bouncy balls and gaffer tape and bits of paper and chairs and ironing boards and tents and everything else that eventually litters the stage.
There is a lot to admire here, although if the show is going to develop further there are some logistical and dramaturgical issues that need to be considered in more depth. The show is a messy, silly spectacle that offers a (sometimes literal) explosion of surprises. It always feels like it’s teetering on the edge of collapse or failure; this is great if it’s a part of the design of the show, and if that sense of chaos is harnessed and controlled, but the frantic nature of the action, and Burns’ comment afterwards – ‘well that was interesting’ – suggests that maybe things were a little knife-edge and nervy.
The mess, and our own role in helping create it, is certainly part of the comedy, although soon the stage is covered with so much, well, shit, that some of the visual gags are lost. (I also hope the clean-up crew are being well rewarded!) I am also unsure what narrative purpose the landslide of clutter serves. It quickly becomes something of an obstacle course, which has its own logistical issues, but is it just an escalating gag, or is something being said about the messiness of love or relationships? Can a better balance be found between embracing this carnage and ensuring control and coherency of the action? More specifically, how does the form relate to the function? And can this clown persona be delivered with a little more specificity and restraint, while maintaining this terrific energy?
Burns has huge support from the near-capacity audience, who cheer as soon as he enters and then really, truly eat the whole thing up. I hear people commenting afterwards how much they loved the show’s energy, creativity and wit. I agree, but for me it’s not quite a love connection. I really admire Burns’ ambition, which was similarly on show in the Court Theatre Youth Company’s show Trios last year, and there is a huge amount of promise in the show’s premise and its sense of the ridiculous. If there’s going to be a second date, though, things will have to be a little more under control, and dibs not having to clean up.
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