If the retailers had their way they'd make every day Christmas
day so they could fleece us in the generally soul-less fashion
you'll experience on the high street at this time of year. The
endless queueing, false smiles and even falser promises are enough
to drive anyone, even a skeptic, to an Indian Ashram. It's a sheer
work of brilliance then that the Duckie collective - all 20 of them
- manage to transform this disorienting nightmare into a fun,
irreverent and thought-provoking spectacle.
As with their previous Xmas shows at the Barbican, Copyright
Christmas is interactive and invites spectators to promenade with
members of the cast to ten different points in the labyrinthine
set. Here we're invited to a corporate responsibility venture led
by comically bored staff. (I particularly loved the posters
proclaiming 'recyling is ethical', 'recycling is healthy' and one
with a scantily clad woman bending over a bin which read 'recycling
is sexy'). Dickie Beau brilliantly reminds those of us who were
royally duped as kids by the Santa story that it's possible to get
your own back, even as a little person.
Bird La Bird is genial in her alter ego 'Birdie Allslop' the
brains behind the Opus Job Boutique and asks "Why go to the trouble
of finding a job when you can buy the job of your dreams?". As we
are led, provoked and entertained around and about, within Robin
Whitmore's brilliant set, we pass through shelves full of
IKEA-esque boxes labelled Slapdash, Sloppi and Papp and when we
come to the finale, sinister store manager Carol (Scottee) sings a
West End-worthy show stopper as she presides over an anarchic and
Copyright Christmas is a brilliant antidote to the worst
seasonal excesses. Make sure you arrive early so you can take in
the delightful stalls in the foyer - Duckie's Christmas Market
takes place throughout December.
Duckie's Copyright Christmas
continues until 31 December with shows starting at 4pm, 7:30pm and
More information here.