Comedy blog

Edinburgh Fringe 2014 interview: Sh!t Theatre

guinea pigs on trial edinburgh fringe

Sh!t Theatre comprises Becca and Louise – two of the most exciting and daring young performers in the country, who combine music, comedy and theatre to create vibrant modern satires.

This year they tackle the pharma industry in Guinea Pigs on trial, which tells the story of their attempts to take part in numerous medical trials.

Hallo guys. How are you today?

We’re on the train up. Louise is sick (she’s not, she’s hungover). How are you?

You’re involved in two shows this year. Can you explain the concept behind each of them?

Guinea Pigs on Trial is about pharmaceutical trials and charts our attempts this year to sell our bodies to science. It’s also about the X Files, and Wendy Craig.

Burger Van is about two men who work in a burger van, and their relationship with each other and their work. There’s also some talking meat.

For Guinea Pigs on Trial what made you decide to create a show about medical trials? 

Guinea Pigs On Trial is a sequel to last year’s JSA (Job Seekers Anonymous) 2013. We noticed that, towards the end of our time on the dole, the Job Centre started advertising paid phase 1 medical trials alongside or in place of actual jobs. We thought this was bit strange, and decided to investigate…

Was there anything that surprised you about the clinical trial process and the pharma industry?

What surprised us initially about medical trials was how difficult they are to get on – we really tried hard to sell our wonderful youthful bodies and still found it tougher than we expected to make money (have to explain that one to the Arts Council). Also, the pharma industry is really shady, we suppose we shouldn’t have been that surprised about that.

Burger Van is a more collaborative project. Can you explain how you got involved in the production and who you’re working with?

Burger Van is the other show we are in –it’s not actually a Sh!t Theatre show, it’s a collaboration between us (Becca and Louise), comedian Phil O’Shea (we know you guys are fans of his) and Tim Hopkins, a man. Burger Van was an idea Tim had years ago, when he was working in a shitty burger kitchen, for a sort of puppet show set in a fast food truck. Tim & Phil play Tim & Phil, who work there, and we operate the meat puppets and do the music.

Are you prepared for the ordeal of doing two shows in Edinburgh?

At one point in 2012, we were doing 5 shows a day, so we think we can handle it. Guinea Pigs on Trial is only on every other day as we are sharing The Anatomy Lecture Theatre with Ellie Stamp’s Are You Lonesome Tonight?, which is a show about mental health, belief systems and her being the secret love child of Elvis. It’s great – come see it too!

What else are you looking forward to about the Fringe this year?

The Singing Acupuncturist, Mosque Kitchen, hanging out with all the Escalator East to Edinburgh people again, and getting a suntan.

Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it:

Louise re-watched Miss Congeniality the other day and though she’s not a huge fan of Sandra Bullock, it was a lot more entertaining than remembered. Though Michael Caine plays the usual sort of ‘Bland English Man’, ugh, Michael if you are reading this, please stop.

Though if you are reading this Michael, you are cordially invited to our annual Sing-a-long-a-Muppets Xmas Carol in December (ours was first, PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA LOOKING AT YOU). You will be our special guest and you can join in with whenever we clap you Doing Acting.

We’ve just gone past Doncaster. See you soon!

Doncaster is home to the Sugar Mafia, Tim just told us that. Oh Wait! No that’s a pun. Don Caster. It’s good that.

Sh!t Theatre: Guinea Pigs On Trial
Aug 2-23, 3.30pm

Burger Van
Aug 2-23, 5.30pm

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