Letters to Windsor House is an award-winning show by fringe pair Sh!t Theatre. It has been made available to stream for a limited time, and feels just as relevant now as when first performed in 2016.
I first experienced this pair last year when I was invited to review their Christmas extravaganza, Sh!t Actually. With music, wit and a perverse off-kilter energy, they mocked middle-class films, notably Love Actually.
Becca and Louise tell their tale of living in a naff flat in Finsbury Park, two floors up, a door buzzer which never worked, Romanian hip hop leaking up through the floor.
Windsor House is a housing block with rented flats. In their flat there are lots of letters in a regular avalanche of misplaced post. The pair of flatmates decide to track down previous tenants in a “Are You Dave Gorman” type of quest.
With an A/V projector, limited props, a dash of song and their clownish, cynical charm, the two Sh!t performers bring this one hour show into sharp relief. I found it absorbing, thoughtful and innovative material. Both performers deliver with a light touch with an underlying hint of menace.
This won a Fringe First award at Edinburgh in 2016, and although it is infused with Sh!t Theatre’s irreverent humour it has a serious message about London’s housing crisis. Community developments give way to luxury city living. Social housing becomes a rich kids playground.
It starts with the desire to find the former tenants with their letters, then moves into mischief as they investigate the contents. Taxmen, banks, magazines, baby food, debt collectors.
Weaved in is a sharp political commentary on the country which pushes people into debt, drugs or destitution if you don’t have ready money. Centre stage is a pile of cardboard boxes: the refuge of the homeless, the tools of those constantly on the move.
For each rental of Letters to Windsor House, a pound goes to the Shelter charity, helping the displaced and the homeless. You can rent at Show and Tell, with access to the show available for 48 hours.
My thanks to Show and Tell for the production images.