Junk Junk Junk: A Review

Isobel Clarke offers her take on the latest from The Student Workshop - A production so nice, you say it thrice!

Junk Junk Junk, the latest Student Workshop production, featured a quirky ensemble of cardboard box millennials in a gloriously abstract performance. The cast were extremely entertaining to watch, with their personalities shining through with each turn in the performance, particularly with their wildly personal conversations and stories. 

The production set out with a mission statement, ‘In a time of ecological crisis, what role can theatre practices play in sustainability?’ The production process certainly achieved this, as the company scavenged for any materials they could get to create this piece of theatre. The use of the cardboard box as their focal point, combined with the performers bodies created a visually aesthetic performance that adhered to their goal of sustainable practice. Although this idea was achieved visually, some audience members mentioned the lack of a vocal comment on sustainability and the ecological crisis as advertised. 

The beauty of the piece was in the audience’s minds and the thoughts they could project on to it. Whether this was an exploration of the mode of storytelling, or an insight into the unhinged mind, it was vastly entertaining for all of its observers. A particularly memorable moment was a section with Dylan Rowe and Hannah Harding, the show’s facilitators. Rowe carried Harding upside down and transported her around the room whilst she muttered nonsense. Its absurdity combined with the innovative visual created an original, unhinged form of theatre, that avoided the clichés of many student productions. This style was upheld throughout the piece in all of its ensemble, with the strong communication of personal stories from Niamh Smith, Alex Girling, Lucy Donald and Lucy Doig. This strong cast must be praised for their combined talent in performance and their ability to communicate with their audience aside from the absurdity of the content. 

Could they have pushed it further? Absolutely! But there is time for that in their continuation of the project, with hopes to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2020 at the Greenhouse; the first zero waste venue, created for last years Fringe Festival. If by any miracle some more tickets go up for sale, this wonderfully wacky cast are ones to watch.