Concerning the UFO sighting near De Montfort, Leicester
25 March 2018
Daniella Harrison investigates Lights Over Tesco Carpark
In recent years, there’s been huge hype around contemporary science-fiction series such as Black Mirror. The fascination for a new kind of other-worldly fear – that of the evils of technology – seems to have pushed back the usual creatures that once dominated our science-fiction entertainment. In comparison, aliens may seem boring, retro, and done to death, or seen as “weird”. The second season of American Horror Story, for instance, was criticised for its inclusion of an alien subplot. However, with numerous reports of sightings, it appears our curiosity for the extra-terrestrial still remains.
Poltergeist Theatre flies into NSDF for the first time with their show Lights Over Tesco Carpark, which kicked off the festival on Saturday night. The show is about “looking up”, described as “part-documentary, part-gig, and part-comedy”. Dance is a core part of the show, with the gig-like atmosphere initially set up by the cast mingling with audience members before the piece begins, followed by a set piece of dancing aliens.
The show works its way through the 1950s to as recent as 2017 when there have been reported alien sightings. None of the sightings are believed and the reporters of them are seen as mad, or shunned by the people around them.
Jack Bradfield, director of the production, says that it is important that these people’s stories are represented as true: “We try to find genuine and real emotion in there rather than ‘isn’t that person crazy?’” To add to the authenticity of these stories, audience members are cast as the abductees and witnesses. After asking about how consent from audience members is given – I’d hate to suddenly be picked to go onstage – Bradfield reassures that there is a carefully constructed language throughout the show that enables audience members to understand and control their level of participation. “The actors hold out flying saucers [the sweet], and audience members will understand that is their cue”.
It’s not just on the NSDF stage where we may encounter aliens (dancing or not) during our week in Leicester. There have been various UFO-sightings in recent years, including a strange blue light hovering over the city in 2016 after Leicester City won a match. Perhaps we should be on guard in case otherworldly beings show up at the festival with a forged ticket.