Ottawa Fringe Reviews: We love them all, we love the mall

I only saw one performance last night, and I’m so glad I did.

Jem Rolls: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Mall by Jem Rolls (Big Word Performance Poetry, Edinburgh, Scotland): Brilliant. Funny. Thought-provoking. I really enjoyed this performance. For the talent, I thought Jem Rolls was fantastic and a definite wordsmith. For the content, this was kind of like Old Growth for me (reviewed on June 21). Jem Rolls talks about our obsession with shopping and consumption and what impact it has on us now and for the future. Like Old Growth, the message is clear, we need to think about what we are doing and the world we live in. But where Old Growth pushed for change, I felt like Jem Rolls really spoke the helplessness I sometimes feel about day-to-day living, and I really appreciated that. It’s so overwhelming to think about the human existence on this planet and what we as a civilization and I as an individual must do fix what we’ve all done. And that’s not easy. Because even if we hate malls for excessive choice, wall-to-wall advertising, and the notion of buying excessively for a better life, we still succumb to it all, much like that dreaded top-40 song you start out hating but come to love. It’s there, here and now, now and here. But really, where is that, because now and here is really nowhere.


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