Consumption has the potential to be a stellar show with a powerful message at its core.
For sure, Consumption won’t be winning any awards for feminism, with Penelope being a typical ‘daddy’s girl’ who Seb is eagerly trying to impress, getting wrapped up in the entrapment of appearance and judgement that drags him away from his friends and family and sends him on a downward spiral. Yet most of the characters and their performances are fake, stilted and unnatural, which is exactly the point. Seb remains one of the few performers in the group who came across naturally, living amongst this cast of stereotypes and robotic personas, and it is that contrast that boldly emphasises the madness of this world that is not so dissimilar to our own.
Though the physical extracts of the piece are wonderful to watch, there are points where the movements do start to become a little repetitive, feeling less choreographed. There is also a slight issue with the sub-plot of Seb’s mother, which, though exploring other avenues of our commercialised society, feels a little tangential. It doesn’t really feel like its themes fit with the main narrative, which left it a little disjointed. And the ending sequence, though aesthetically interesting to watch, fails to provide resolution where it was desperately needed. It does, however, provoke you to think.
This is an interesting piece of writing with a talented group of people that shouldn’t be sniffed at. Though it perhaps needs a bit of polishing, if it returns to the Fringe, Consumption has the potential to be a stellar show with a powerful message at its core.