Intriguing and unexpected from beginning to the end
Have you booked your nomnomnom services yet? If not, do it now, and get ready for a series of pleasant surprises!
Nomnomnom is an immersive experience where the audience play time-travelling food-delivery people. Showing in Melbourne for its third iteration, Creator/Producer, Roshelle Fong, and a ballsy creative team are honing this work as a part of the Women in Theatre program at Melbourne, before heading to Kings Cross, Sydney, in June and then Shanghai in August.
The intrigue of the show starts when an email arrives confirming your “job trial” with nomnomnom. Instantly your mind fills with questions: Who are Nancy and Trevor Nomington? What’s with that Nomington name? Travel portals? What do they expect? I’m not good at impromptu! Will this be too much?
As with so many “interactive” works of performance art, this reviewer felt some anticipatory nerves. Thankfully, without spoiling the fun, you can rest assured that audience members have no need to feel anxious, and the show is very relaxed and accessible.
After being warmly welcomed by the friendly and fun staff at Testing Grounds, I still had no clue what to expect but I soon gave up on guessing, enjoying the atmosphere instead with a drink in hand. Once nomnomnom started in earnest, the intrigue and wonder simply kept going, and held my curiosity throughout.
As an interactive performance work, it’s worth leaving much to the imagination and the spontaneity of the group at the time, but in its execution and intent, nomnomnom is unique and fascinating work, an unexpected delight that tracks through time in a surprising recontextualisation of the ubiquitous gig economy.
There’s genuine delight in taking part in the work, a delight that is shared by the performers and audience alike. The audience is close to the action and almost feel like kids playing make-believe. I took every opportunity the to make an input. It’s not something you can usually do at regular theatres, is it? So why not throw in something, silly or not, and wait to see the reaction.
In the time-travelling, there were some pieces of the show that I didn’t quite get, simply because I lacked the relevant background knowledge. This certainly didn’t prevent me from having great fun, and made me very curious about certain facts that will no doubt need to be “Googled” in the aftermath of the show.
Only showing for a few days don’t be deterred by the weather and test your skills as a visor-wearing delivery worker for the ages.
For those who are not familiar with the Southbank Arts Precinct, the meeting point is the grass area between the Arts Centre and Hamer Hall. Wear warm clothes. Maybe a raincoat. You won’t regret it.
Testing Grounds (Meet at Arts Centre Melbourne lawn, 100 St Kilda Rd)
1 City Rd, Southbank
M15+ All shows wheelchair accessible and AUSLAN sessions marked.