Fly away with me
26 March 2018
Anne Mulleners goes back to the future as she reconsiders her belief in the supernatural
A sceptic of science fiction onstage, I entered Lights Over Tesco Carpark with a lack of faith mixed with a spark of curiosity. Who wouldn’t at least be enticed by green alien masks and multi-coloured fanny packs? Costume-wise, it really indulged the geek aesthetic (greatly appreciated on my part). As a whole the show felt reminiscent of Complicité’s The Encounter, yet shaped to suit the story of Tesco.
Its exploration of alien encounters through audience interaction, voice-over, projection and dance—especially the What we Found in Our Research Section (!)—was a hell of a lot of fun. Cleverly mixing different forms through which we encounter the stories, Lights Over Tesco Carpark delivers a piece that feels part documentary, part fiction. Cleverly constructed to draw its audience in, it has the freshness and playfulness that only comes from a group that is confident in their abilities and enjoying themselves.
It was mainly the simple nature of the elements used that charmed me the most: alien drawings functioning as masks, the use of space hopper sweets that turned lights into different colours and functioned as UFO stand-ins. We were kids again, believing in stories and hoping they were true. This was why, when I started to wonder where all this geeky indulgence was going, it was perfectly rounded up in a communal light show. Even then, after seeing this lovely story and knowing its worth, it was flipped on its head. It questioned our eagerness to believe in fairytales, knowing the harrowing reality of today.
Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca