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Theatre review Clone comics keep abreast of Parton

Live Art Bistro, Leeds

AMONG other things, Dolly Parton is famous for her mammary glands — so much so that Dolly the sheep was cloned from a mammary gland cell and was named after the country star.

In tribute, Dolly fans Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, cloned in matching denim shorts and hybrid human-sheep blonde wigs, spend half of this show wearing pink vests that have two holes from which their nipples protrude.

Elsewhere, they sport a huge single breast and burst pink balloons, the reasons for which are neither acknowledged nor explained.

This slightly tenuous chain of logic is at the centre of Sh!t Theatre’s “mainstream crossover hit” DollyWould, a gently surreal comedy about immortality and branding. Rooted in physical theatre, it was devised when Mothersole and Biscuit fell out and realised that to continue they needed to focus on something that they both loved.

Their fondness for Parton, whose image they have tattooed on their thighs, is likeably transparent, no more so than when they play clips of a 1977 Barbara Walters interview with Parton and harmonise her verbatim answers over a country backing-track they create on a loop station with banjo and mandolin.

That simple device is surprisingly effective at teasing out the carefully constructed Parton trademark and her manipulation of image, affectionately satirised in a series of photos taken from their trips to DollyWood, a nearby body farm in Tennessee and the stuffed body of Dolly the sheep.

Branded mugs and snow globes flash up alongside toilet bowls that, unlike the show, are full of sh!t.

Tours until June 16, details:



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