Holy Shit!

I attended the new play by Bronte Charlotte and Leigh Scully, Pieces of Shit at The Butterfly Club not quite sure what I was walking into. From the social media campaign, it looked a little messy, like I was about to be part of a massive food fight.

Fortunately, this was not the case, and Charlotte and Scully delivered a thoughtful, funny, and moving new play that balanced toilet humour with hard-hitting, timely content. The two-hander production that featured both Charlotte and Scully in the main roles allowed each actor to flex with monologues that became more complex and telling as the play continued.

Charlotte and Scully are never on stage at the same time until tragedy brings them together and then splits them almost immediately apart. In a twist that is not unexpected, it still reveals how precarious power can be and how easily manipulated those who don’t have it are to those that do.

Pieces of Shit directed by Nick Clark is not the Jackass, South Park, crass humour I initially thought it might be. Instead, it delves into what have become everyday issues, sexual violence, coercion, manipulation, toxic masculinity, power imbalance and loss. The issues raised within this production quickly went from light and fluffy, an events manager and a viral disaster grabbling with their own sense of self to one of utter despair through suicide, depression and the societal pressure on both men and women to conform to the ideal of “masculinity” and “femininity”.

With wonderful performances by both Charlotte and Scully, the two discuss potentially triggering and confrontational issues with care. Their commitment to their roles shows an incredibly realistic and authentic performance from both.

After over a decade of seeing cabaret performed at The Butterfly Club, I am so pleased to see a new work of such careful creation and precise performance be played out at the venue. There was no razzle dazzle to distract from the heartfelt and honest performances on stage. It was simply a profound performance and writing from the team.

This is the wonderful thing about Melbourne, and about having live theatre back. The enormous wealth of talent has always been here, and the small independent productions are returning, I can only hope they live up to the calibre of Pieces of Shit.

Event details

The Butterfly Club
Pieces of Shit
by Bronte Charlotte and Leigh Scully

Director Nick Clark

Venue: The Butterfly Club | Carson Place, off Little Collins St Melbourne Vic 3000
Dates: 09/05/2022 – 14/05/2022
Tickets: $35 – $28
Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com

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