Shopping Centre by Matthew Osborn (2 stars)

This article is from 2012

Shopping Centre by Matthew Osborn

Harrowing dissection of everything that’s wrong with society

Devised by comedian-cum-actor/playwright Matthew Osborn, Shopping Centre is more a list of everything that is wrong with society than a drama.

Loner Jim lives beneath a shopping centre, preferring the company of furniture and his memories to the people above him. Humanity has hurt him, and he has chosen to hide away in the depths of the very society that has rejected and tormented him.

Sex and violence are at the nucleus of Shopping Centre as Jim’s life is rudely interrupted by a riot in the building where he has made his home. As events descend further into anarchy, so do Jim’s thoughts and recollections.

An emphatic and effective performance from Carson can’t mask the clichés that litter the opening minutes. It’s a harrowing tale that emerges with unexpected and difficult moments interspersed between lighter, comedic musings. But the David Cameron sex fantasies and Italian leather sofa-fisting references can’t lighten the grim reality of Jim’s situation. The result is a violent and, given recent events in Colorado, potentially distasteful ending.

Gilded Balloon at Third Door, 622 6552, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 4.30pm, £9--£10 (£9).

Shopping Centre by Matthew Osborn

  • 2 stars

Following the extraordinary success of Cul-De-Sac, comes a new play telling the story of an unhappy loner who finds solace in a shopping centre until one day it descends into a riot of sex and violence. Ages 16+. RBM.

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