Edinburgh Fringe 2019
“Robox is your personal fulfilment device. The one-click wonder, the ultimate convenience. You dream it, he delivers it. Instant fulfilment. But fulfilment isn’t for everyone. Award-winning theatre company SharkLegs uncover the price people really pay for next-day delivery.”
If you are a consumer who buys online, you may find this show informative. But if you buy from Amazon you may think more about what happens when you click your mouse and order a product.
A team of five actors narrate, manipulate Robox, an interesting looking puppet and play characters speaking as Amazon employees. Using preferred jargon and responses from real life interviews we learn a bit more about the conflict between the happy customer receiving items from their wish list and the apparent plight of the fulfilment centre worker.
The cast tried to interview several Amazon employees who rebuffed them with distrust, but information did come down the grapevine and if it’s all true, then this is provocative indeed.
Robox, is the friendly puppet who will make your dreams and desires come true. He introduces himself, with his high-pitched puppet voice, manipulated by three puppeteers. One person works the feet, another the right arm and a third the left arm and head. This puppet looks the part, being made of brown cardboard and his long skinny sprung limbs wind around anyone and anything nearby. He gets up close and personal and is a lot of fun!
Actors stand and narrate how it is from day one working at Amazon and come back several times to update us as the first day at work goes by, and so on, which is interesting.
Have you ever wondered how products pop up that you may be interested in after spending a minute or two searching on the site? Robox will tell you about one of his tricks of products suggestion, and unashamedly show you – in a very entertaining way!
The energetic cast uses the entire space to do their work as fulfilment centre workers, they do not waste a second, even if they wanted to. We also watch the point of view of Amazon suits who welcome us with positivity and smiling platitudes. The contrast between the real life stories and management is wide and depending on your experience, may be shocking
The story builds to the end and one thing that may happen is the next time you buy something online, you may think back to how it arrives on your doorstep from clicking and ordering it to where it was stored, before it becomes yours!