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Creator and performer Luna Allison. Photo: Japhet Alvarez.

Theatre Review: The Shit Show at Arts Court Studio

By Brian Carroll on February 9, 2018


Though draped with a large sheet, there is an obvious object occupying centre stage, its throne-like shape clearly manifest. Rest assured, gentle reader, that although this is titled The Shit Show, Chekhov’s rule for guns on stage doesn’t apply to toilets. Although it is sat upon, it is not shat upon.

Luna Allison’s scatological exploration of our present mores and social pressures with respect to poop (as she usually refers to it) demonstrated on opening night that fart jokes and potty humour appeal to adults, not just to kids.

Allison points out that our present attitudes are relatively recent. She’s discovered in her research that public defecation was the norm before the 1800s. I won’t reveal a spoiler, but I will point out that after the sheet is withdrawn from the toilet, it finds another use, later on, to show a way that the rich distinguished themselves from the lower classes.

Allison ascribes part of our feelings to the second century theory that although God made us in his image, Jesus ate and drank, but did not excrete. (She’s not making this up, folks!) This separation of the sacred and the natural became further reinforced at the time of the Inquisition.

I won’t quote any more of Allison’s material for two reasons. First, I don’t want to give any spoilers from this short 28-minute show. Second, I was often laughing too hard to take legible notes.

The Shit Show is definitely a work in progress. Allison is only about half off-book and is clearly testing out new material to see what works. Appropriately, admission is pay what you can, so you can choose to pay whatever you think the show is worth in its present state.

The content is definitely suitable for its late-show schedule. The bar is open before and after the show. If I hadn’t been reviewing, I’d have grabbed a drink to nurse during the performance.

Allison definitely has room to expand the show with more material. For example, she didn’t delve into the Romans or the Greeks, who had sewage systems, but didn’t have germ theory. Here’s hoping she keeps polishing The Shit Show.

Worth a gamble.

The Shit Show is playing in the undercurrents festival at Arts Court Studio (2 Daly Ave) on Friday February 9 and Saturday February 10 at 10:30pm. Admission is pwyc.