by Laura Kressly
Poltergeist Theatre wanted to make a show about alien abductions, so they advertised locally to see if anyone had any stories. An email from a man called Robert leads them down a rabbit hole of research and testimonies that often sound mad – but is there truth in these stories that are so quickly written off?
This theatrical presentation into reports of UFOs and alien life forms is full of playfulness and youth, though there’s a clever smugness that underpins the work rather than a defined dramaturgy. Their interactions with Robert span several months, and whilst they acknowledge that there’s a chance they could come across as mocking him, their conversations with him largely come across as genuinely curious.
It’s never fully made clear what the production is trying to achieve even though it’s quite an interesting theme for a show. The ending touches on unity and acceptance, but there’s a good dose of comedy and documentary as well. The age recommendation is listed as 8+, but only the brightest, most precocious 8-year-olds would be able to fully follow this.
This is a bright and fun piece of theatre with stylistic parallels to Breach Theatre’s body of work, but this young company is still learning the ropes. Silly, charming ideas aren’t always enough to give a show cohesion and clear purpose.
Lights over Tesco Carpark runs through 27 August.
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.