Taking your seat to the latest offering from Sh!t Theatre, Letters from Windsor House, you are immediately hurled into the show. Main players, Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, are already on stage, adorned with requisite trademark greasepaint, sat on a sofa, drink in hand, listening to 80s synth rock cheese classic ‘Alone’ by Heart.
An award winning offering that triumphed at the Edinburgh Fringe. The set is atypically spartan, save from a sofa and some cardboard boxes. The show itself is a compendium of DIY visuals, sketches, musical interludes, observational comedy with a heavy dose of social commentary.
Letters to Windsor House are Becca and Lou’s experiences of living together in London. The flatmates share their thoughts of residing at Windsor House, which is an inappropriately named block of flats given the parallels between its more famous Royal dwelling namesake. The duo divulge to the audience the mundanity of their cohabitation, from noisy neighbours to the local amenities, all the while pointing out the hilarity of the situation they find themselves in.
Then there are the so called letters and their decision to exploit a loophole in the law. Opening the vast mail that is posted to their address and in doing so bring into sharp focus the political hot potato that is housing crisis engulfing those in the big smoke.
It’s not surprising that such a subject matter should be held for satire and parody. Comedy has always been a visceral vehicle to showcasing the hopeless buffoonery of political and social issues. It allows those to comprehend the sheer stupidity of the situation and it allows those that attempt to highlight it, to give it some context and meaning.
In Becca and Lou you have a double act that clearly works. They are comfortable with each other on stage, able to riff off each other, finish off each other’s sentences, so much so that they are finely in tune.
And what’s more it is charming. Especially in the musical set pieces. There are also tender moments of the production where they share some heartfelt scenes, this is more than just about the housing crisis, but what it means in terms of their friendship to live together as flatmates.
Interwoven between these two narratives is bringing the interesting array of characters that receive mail addressed to their residence in question. Along the way we meet dodgy landlords, an Irishman who owed HMRC a tenner and other such compelling people. We also are introduced to Rob Jecock. Someone who received an awful lot of material in the post about babies and so surreally was mocked musically as the ‘Adult Baby’.
Verdict: An honest appraisal of what it is to live in London from a duo that will have you laughing one minute, crying the next.