Robert says he saw strange lights over Tesco car park. He believes he’s been contacted by aliens. We are assured beyond doubt “ALL OF THIS IS TRUE”. We never get to meet Robert, but that’s no matter; Poltergeist Theatre are at hand to investigate and reconstruct these sightings, playfully inviting us to ask what we choose to believe.
Treats the audience with nothing but love and respect
Brought to life by a wonderful ensemble (Alice Boyd, Julia Pilkington, Rosa Garland, and Will Spence), the company gets the audience involved in their search for the truth without ever feeling forced or unnatural. Robert’s not alone in his sightings after all so we can choose whose other stories we hear, work out who in the audience is in fact an alien in disguise, and even have a dance to David Bowie.
The aesthetic is endearingly kitsch and creatively low-tech, with phones and sweets turning into UFOs and a single cap and microphone to conjure Robert onstage. It’s a little stroke of genius, after all if we can suspend our disbelief to create Robert onstage prompted by just a cap and microphone, so why couldn’t we also believe that he also saw aliens? In a distressing time of post-truth and polarization, Poltergeist Theatre provide the ideal antidote in their playful docu-comedy that never takes itself too seriously and treats the audience with nothing but love and respect - it feels like nowadays one of the most radical things you can do is to simply be unashamedly and unironically lovely. Lights Over Tesco Carpark has been a real breath of fresh air, and it's shows like this that revive me during such an overwhelming Festival.