Sometimes a show does something a little bit special. Poltergeist Theatre’s Lights Over Tesco Car Park is a disco-infused, joyous mockumentary-esque celebration of the human relationship with stories and, of course, with extra-terrestrials. While investigating the stories of Robert Taylor, a man who reports sightings of alien-like activity, the group discover just how playful a quest for an unlikely truth can be.
The energy of the cast is turned up to full volume from the start. They begin to fool around with the audience as soon as we enter the space, welcomed by a playlist of our favourite pop tunes. Their spirits never wane. Even during some more testing elements of the show – in particular a moment of audience participation involving a heart shaped alien – their playfulness and chemistry makes us utterly engrossed in their nonsensical search for answers. It’s completely self-aware, and this is exactly what makes the production work; it is not afraid to address its medium.
Objects and items are used inventively and with great humour. Flying saucers are eaten, stamped on and thrown into the air like confetti, mobile phone lights (which the audience are encouraged to use at the end) brighten up the darkened sky, and the Pizza Planet alien from Toy Story sits innocently on the bed in Robert’s spare room as it prepares for an otherworldly guest. Projected text is also used for comic effect, and it is very funny to watch.
A foley routine with a blindfolded participant also proves hilarious, as she’s squirted with a water pistol and tortured with the sound of a popping balloon. Then, as the company get us all to dance, we sing along to the Star Wars theme tune in wholesome unity, and in doing so are reminded of the collective human consciousness. At a time of what seems to be never-ending conflict, it’s a wonderful thing to be reminded that we all share the world and, if nothing else, to bring us together in commemoration of the fact that we are never alone.