Consumption

Consumption is a somewhat-successful commentary on the state of 21st century society, one obsessed with technology, appearances and consumerism, navigated by the central story of Seb, and the progression of his new relationship with the controlling Penelope. Using a combination of physical theatre and abstract imagery to frame the narrative, the show provides an intriguing aesthetic that challenges you with both visual and vocal strategies to think about the issues raised.

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.

Reviews by James Moore

Upstage Centre Youth Theatre

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★★★
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★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Britain 2015 - we take, we buy and then we put it on credit… Sebastian and Penelope are in love, inseparable and living beyond their means. The new house, the latest car, dinner parties with friends… all to keep hold of one person? A physical and humorous drama about how we devour each other emotionally and literally without even knowing it and asks the question what will it take for us to stop? A little dose of humour, a large amount of drama and the makings of some great theatre.