Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Shit

A Younger Theatre / Jake Orr

Actress Silvia Gallerano perches on the edge of a stool that is taller than she is. Microphone in hand, she is completely naked aside from the shocking red lipstick adorning her lips. She mumbles the Italian national anthem, her smooth voice crisp in the cold of the Summerhall performance studio. In those first moments it would be fair to say that no one quite knew what to expect. Our eyes flick over Gallerano’s naked body. We notice the way her breasts hang loosely, we take in the shape of hair nestled between her legs, and we wait, expectantly.
What follows is a tour de force of words and consciousness that seems to bring out the inner beast from Gallerano’s body. As we sit, awestruck and bemused, her voice erupts from her mouth and she does not hold back. Gallerano is phenomenal – rage and insecurities pour out of her, sending a chill down your spine and at times making you wish you were anywhere but in the audience. The Shit, touching upon revolution, unification of Italy and the repulsion of body and mind, leaves the audience gasping for breath.
Written by Cristian Ceresoli and presented with Marta Ceresoli, The Shit has its Scottish premier at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is a stream of consciousness that spills from a woman desperate to feel and look the best she can, but hampered by her shortness, her disgusting thighs and her desire to be a star. As the show progresses, it feels increasingly as though Ceresoli wrote the part for Gallerano, so stark and honest is her portrayal.
Presented as episodes, with Gallerano facing a different direction each time, her vocal ability proves astounding with Ceresoli’s text. The seemingly never-ending flow of words forms poetry and narrative at once, depicting characters and stories as the pull of revolution sends Gallerano into a frenzy. Like a monster unleashed, instinctive, wild and animalistic, there is something distinctly absorbing about The Shit. Even during descriptions of flesh being torn or food gorged to be point of excess, Gallerano’s naked body is mesmerising to the audience. The proportions seem askew; Gallerano looks like a baby, perched upon the oversize pedestal with microphone in hand as she delivers her verdict.
Gripping, powerful and provocative, it isn’t always clear where the stream of consciousness will take the audience next, but the further it delves into the human psyche, the more engrossing it becomes. It may not be your usual night of entertainment, but The Shit is certainly worth it. Go see.
**** – 4/5 Stars