In our modern world, convenience is king and Amazon wears the crown. One of the world’s largest companies, Amazon has taken over the world of e-commerce to become one of the big four technology companies along with Google, Facebook and Apple. But has this success benefited everyone? Fulfilment seeks to highlight the true and rather frightening stories of workers within an Amazon Warehouse or, as they call it, their fulfilment centre. These stories are then contrasted with moments of interactive puppetry in the form of Roblox, a robot personal fulfilment device, representing the convenience and positivity of Amazon’s brand. SharkLegs Theatre Company seeks to highlight a massive issue in our current dystopian reality and though they accomplish some aspects well and others definatly have potential, they somewhat fall short overall.
Will make you question your choice next Cyber Monday.
The themes of humanisation and dehumanization prevalent within the story are presented well in the contrasts between Roblox and Amazon Workers scenes and this is especially supported by the passionate and powerful performances by the small cast who are brutal and beautiful in their performances. However, the overall narrative, the constant and often unrelated changes happening throughout the show become incredibly messy and difficult to keep track on. Moments can go from calm and cheerful to intense and uncomfortable in seconds and though this can be done effectively, it wasn’t prevalent here.
Roblox, the puppet used though the performance, is very simple in its design. A simple and incredibly flexible cardboard exterior with white plastic eyes and a small, Amazon-style smile. This is incredibly effective and is a real stand-out aspect of the show especially with how the three performers work together with ease in the manning of the puppet. Roblox is performed as an incredibly charismatic, constantly interacting and learning from the audience, which is a pleasure to watch. However, the unraised thrust staging of the performance, really hindered the performance making it incredibly difficult to watch moments of the performance especially with Roblox. I do understand that often a company has no choice in the venue they receive, often being allocated it by the venue provider but nothing was adapted to accommodate to the space or view of all the audience which really hinders the experience.
Fulfilment definatly achieves what it sets out to do, acting as a guild-enduring view of the ugly truth of Amazon which will make you question your choice next Cyber Monday. At time being deep and powerful, it is ashame that it is often undermined by its messiness and creative choices. Hopefully with some creative changes and perhaps a new venue, this could become a really impressive show.