Wondermart (3 stars)

This article is from 2009.


Avoid the security guards on this inventive supermarket exploration

There are moments in Wondermart that might make the more self-conscious shopper ditch their trolley and run away in fright. Through the course of this 30-minute supermarket wander, the listener is required to become the performer, quietly complicit in the actions directed by the speaker – though the impact the show has on you depends entirely on how much you buy into the conceit.

Devised by acclaimed theatre-makers Rotozaza and brought to Edinburgh by the Forest Fringe, Wondermart is an absorbing journey into the heart of modern consumerism. After obtaining the audio track from the Forest Fringe box office or downloading it online, your trip starts and ends outside your chosen supermarket, considering the building (or ‘the egg’ as the serene lady’s voice in your ears puts it) and the people scuttling to and from it. At times remarkably intuitive, there’s a conflict between its request that participants act like normal shoppers and the few out of the ordinary actions it directs. Nevertheless, it’s an affecting dissection of the clinical aspects of supermarket-shopping that forces you to look beyond the shelves.

Selected supermarkets across Edinburgh (audio available from Forest Fringe, The Arches @ St Stephen’s and online), 220 4538, until 29 Aug, times vary, free.

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