New World Supermarket, 133 Great King St, Dunedin

03/03/2016 - 13/03/2016

Any New World Supermarket, New Zealand wide

12/02/2016 - 05/03/2016

NZ Fringe Festival 2016 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Dunedin Fringe 2016

Production Details

Presented by Binge Culture

Introducing the personal audio device debut of one of the greatest triumphs of Binge Culture’s audio-tour-making career: Enter the New World, the very first audio-driven-first-person-adventure-of-your-own-local-New-World-Supermarket in New Zealand history.

Steve Jobs would have been thrilled to know that through today’s technology literally tens of people are enjoying unauthorised, satirical audio tours of places in obscure antipodean cities at times of their own choosing. Time and time again.

Let’s go behind the scenes for a look at our exciting new audio experience, Enter the New World.

It’s the adventure of a brave supermarket consumer, where you are the protagonist.

Developed to accompany your weekly shopping, and featuring original songs by Garth Hobbs, this tour promises to make the ordinary extraordinary and open your eyes to the wonders of the New World.

Binge Culture’s first audio tour (Te Papa Walkthrough, levels 4, 5 & 6) was immediately hailed as admissible in 2014:
“If you are looking for something cool and inexpensive to do in Wellington, this is it.” – Hannah Smith, Theatreview
“The most stimulating piece of art in Wellington right now.” – Mark Amery, The Big Idea
“4 1/2 stars.” – David Williams, Salient Magazine

Now experience the third Binge Culture audio tour, rendered in high quality Dolby Stereo sound: Enter the New World. Coming soon to a Fringe near you.

at www.bingeculture.co.nz/audiotours

Throughout Festival (30min)

NZ Fringe 2016
12 Feb – 5 March 2016
BOOKINGS: fringe.co.nz
TICKETS: $10/$7/$5

Dunedin Fringe 2016
New World Supermarket, 133 Great King St, Dunedin
3 – 13 March 2016
All Ages
$5.00 – $10.00
Get tickets »

Featuring the voices of Jonny Potts, Mouce Young, Ralph Upton, Claire O'Loughlin, Joel Baxendale and Yi-Ling Chai 

Music and Sound Design by Gareth Hobbs
Production & Publicity assistance from Jonathan Hobman and Mouce Young 

Promenade , Audio (podcast) ,

An unusual experience

Review by Alison Embleton 11th Mar 2016

It’s an interesting concept: private theatre; being the protagonist in your very own secret performance. This is what Enter the New World promises and it certainly delivers.

Plugged into a set of headphones, you press play on your downloaded file once you’ve positioned yourself near the entrance to any New World supermarket. You listen to your instructions and proceed to fondle the items in the produce section that are written down on your shopping list … You’re soon going to give up on actually shopping however.

Throughout the aisles you are prompted to examine the products that are practically leaping off the shelves at you. The voices discussing the ferocity of the consumerism being forced on you aren’t judging your choices though, they’re on your side. They’re just there to make you think about your behaviour and the decisions you ultimately land on. A vast array of characters is with you for the duration of this adventure. Some are definitely stronger than others – The Grandmother of the supermarket in particular. And don’t get me started on those accents!

The pace is a little slow, leaving you lingering in the aisles rather longer than is necessary. It is surprisingly busy for the duration of my visit and I struggle to remain fully focused on the voices in my head (isn’t one supposed to desire the opposite?). However because the recording dictates your movements and gives you cues as to when you may move on, you’re at the mercy of Binge Culture’s whims, regardless of how many trollies run over your toes.

The pace of the story is also a little sluggish in the beginning. The original songs and background music are the highlight of the experience and they have the alarming quality of getting stuck in your head for days afterwards.

If unfamiliar with the Binge Culture methodology, you could fall victim to spending a good ten minutes thinking you were being forced to re-live the Life Education Bus experiences of your childhood with oh-so-earnest sing-songs and moral choices about fruit and vegetables. A song or two in though, and you’ll begin to pick up that the earnestness is a mere ploy to remind you of the serious subject matter, and the delivery is definitely for laughs. Which you will most certainly do. You’ll be laughing to yourself while staring at items on the shelves and the people around you will probably be convinced that there really are voices in your head.

The risk of letting your audience take (semi)control of your performance is that it can get away from them. So many elements come into play that can’t be subverted as they are in a more traditional performance. This is half the magic of a non-conventional format, and for the most part Enter the New World is successful.

It’s an unusual experience but it’s a Fringe experience. As stated earlier you’ll most likely become too distracted (whether by other shoppers who are looking at you like you’re a whack-job or by those delightfully ethically inclined voices in your head) to actually complete your shopping to a satisfactory degree… but it doesn’t really matter. You’re always buying too much anyway, right?


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Different, smart, provocative and entertaining

Review by Tim Stevenson 13th Feb 2016

Feel like a night out on the town? How about something with songs and a story that’s got comedy to make you smile, romance to make your heart beat faster, plus a message about the pitfalls of consumerism and the power of love, to make you think? Not to mention all the food and drink you can swallow or carry away – at a price, of course.

Do you mind if it’s one of those gigs where you get to be a character in the story? You don’t mind? Excellent, because the Binge Culture Collective has got just what you’re looking for: a trip to New World. Which means that you can do your shopping at the same time. This event really does have everything, except for seats.

To access these good things, make a booking, download the podcast provided – this is easy and takes no time at all, particularly if there’s a 12-year-old nearby you can ask for help – and head to the nearest New World. At the entrance, turn on your device – you need some kind of MP3 player or smart phone, plus earphones or headphones – and let the voices and the music guide you step-by-step, aisle by aisle, chapter by chapter, through the store on a journey that pokes, prods and niggles at the temptations to buy and consume what’s heaped in stacks and rows all around you – mixing it up now and then by commenting knowingly on your own struggles with the arcana of ethical consumerism.

To carry you on your journey, there’s a storyline, characters – some of whom have jumped straight off the packages around you – with a variety of not always convincing accents, and at the end, an ethical choice that you alone can make.  

You’ll have guessed by now (I hope) that this is not theatre as we know it, Jim. Forget about sitting in a large dark room watching people acting out a story that’s somehow familiar, whether or not you’ve seen it before. Binge Culture have broken down a barrier or two by locating their show – ‘event’ is a better term – in a major chain of supermarkets which becomes venue, setting and subject all at once. 

It’s clever, ingenious, a bit different, it happens in a supermarket – so does it work? For this reviewer anyway, the answer is yes it does, surprisingly well, and in ways I don’t expect. When it comes to experimental theatre, I tend to fall in the Hermann Goering school of punter (as in “when I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun”).

New World the show – as opposed to New World the supermarket – messes with your mind a bit, so you tend to wobble between “here I am in the baking needs section, and what was that essential item I was going to buy but forgot to write on my list?” – and being carried along by the story. This to-and-fro effect isn’t necessarily comfortable, particularly when you find yourself standing somewhere a bit incongruous – in my case, the beauty products aisle – laughing and staring at the goods on offer, as per the storyline. Not perhaps comfortable, but it fits neatly with the story. I don’t know if this is deliberate on the part of the writers, Joel Baxendale and Ralph Upton, but I suspect it is. Well done, you guys. 

The chapters of the story work together to carry you smoothly from a beginning to a kind of ending, with plenty of inventive twists and turns on the way. Some bits work better than others. The same goes for some of the characters and/or the people speaking the parts. Yi-Ling Chan as the voice of the Grandmother of the Supermarket was the standout for me here, and I’ve already mentioned my rapture amongst the beauty products (thanks Princess Branda, read by Claire O’Loughlin). A polished musical track (original songs plus background music) designed by Gareth Hobbs partners the story well. 

And so to conclude: if sitting down is something you place a high value on, listen, you can sit down any time. If you’re interested in something different and smart that manages to provoke and entertain at the same time, you should definitely consider this show. Be warned though: you may not get a lot of shopping done. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up putting the shopping list away and just following the story where it takes you.


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