Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LIFT: Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich

 I was a brief, unofficial guest of the London International Festival of Theatre, which runs 3-19 June at various locations.


It was a shock to find that this show, brought to the festival by chelfitsch, Japan, had left me with nothing, perhaps even less than nothing.

After all, the elements are there. Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich is a stylised, absurd piece of - I'm going to call it 'movement theatre' - that takes a convenience store as its central metaphor for human existence. The absurdity of convenience stores, and employment of them to illuminate the human being's capacity to willingly succumb to dehumanisation, has been pointed out in material as diverse as Kevin Smith's Clerks and Andres Gursky's 99 Cent. The material elements of this dehumanisation are obvious and plenty - neon lights, brightly coloured packaging setting up a power relationship with the spectator, the various control mechanisms in place which seem to coercively determine habit without ever rendering itself visible - the entire functioning of language in this space - like a form of new-age propaganda.