Intriguing and unexpected from beginning to the end

Mysterious faceless figure running wearing a visor
Image: Vy Nguyen

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.

Hot tips:

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.  

nomnomnom is showing between Thursday 9 May 2019 and Sunday 12 May 2019 at various times.

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.

Xia Cui

Author: Xia Cui

Living in Australia for over ten years, Xia has always been intrigued by the process of meaning negotiation among people from different sociocultural upbringings. How does miscommunication or a conflict occur, for example, get resolved, or not? She’s constantly seeking answers to questions like these through her roles including being a language teacher, translator/interpreter, academic and fitness professional. Xia is currently dedicated to developing immersion Chinese programs, and passionately working with her fitness clients every day towards their goals! 在澳洲生活的十余年间,崔峡所从事的职业有语言教师,翻译员,研究学者, 健身教练等等。在她工作生活的人际交往过程中,崔峡始终有着强烈兴趣并不 断探索的是,来自不同社会文化背景的人们是如何进行意义沟通的。误解甚至冲突是怎样产生,化解,又或不了了之?崔峡目前致力于开发沉浸式中文教学课程。与此同时,她每天都在充满热情的与自己的健身客户一起努力实现他们的健身目标!

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