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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 15, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    On the Fringe: Wondermart

    Fiona McCann

    Supermarket interactions are not often artistic endeavours. Unless, that is, they come courtesy of Rotozaza, the folks behind last year’s Fringe hit Etiquette . This year, they’re arming the willing with an MP3 player and sending them into supermarkets, skewing this everyday retail experience through the simple mechanism of a voice in the ear. As you, the sole audience member, wander through the aisles and follow instructions, you are commanded to engage with packaging, labels, the bright lights, your fellow shoppers, and the shelves of clamouring products, on a whole new level.

    Information about the insidious geography of supermarket design and how consumers make their conscious and unconscious choices is interspersed with invocations to stop, look, feel, touch and even contemplate some light-fingered theatrics of your own. The concept is clever and the result an altered engagement with the commonplace, the quality of which depends entirely on the level of participation from each individual audience member.

    And though Wondermart doesn’t quite match the imaginative orchestrations of Etiquette , it still succeeds, like the best of theatre, in shining a new light on the quotidian of human experience. Bargain retail therapy.

    For more Fringe reviews, click here.

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