Presented by: Paper Cut
Venue: Level 2, The Store, Newcastle West
Season: Ends Saturday (stickytickets.
THE hour that people spend watching this show is time well spent. The amusing comments it offers on supermarket shopping could make the next grocery trolley trek seem a bit less rigorous.
The Paper Cut collective core members who devised and perform the show – Sarah Coffee, Tamara Gazzard and Lucy Shepherd, pictured above – largely use movement to make their comments on shopper behaviour and the way supermarket chains try to influence buying habits.
There are occasional words, such as in a sequence showing how managements place products – the cheapest often out of sight on the bottom shelf. But it is the bobbing up, down and around of the actors as they peruse the brands that has the audience laughing and smiling.
The trio give a balletic grace to their shoppers, the movements allowing the audience to enjoy moments that in a supermarket are frustrating and time-consuming. One example is a customer continually being hindered by another who won’t move aside from a shelf area that has the product the newcomer needs.
Indeed, the performers use classical ballet music to accompany their well-staged manoeuvres with a real trolley in the final scene.
And some audience members get to do more than just watch the show, being selected to play food products that have the cast members pondering over which they need to buy. It is a well-documented scene.
The audience enters the performance space through walls of stacked cardboard boxes of the type used by supermarket suppliers.
The show’s technical team help to transform the largely bare area used by the performers into a supermarket, with the projected animations by Alex Ball showing rows of drawn products.
The music and sound mix by composer Huw Jones create a busy atmosphere, and Lyndon Buckley’s lighting provides a blend of brightness and shadow appropriate for a work about selling pressures and buying habits.