Frantic Assembly, Sell Out

Review in Issue 10-4 | Winter 1998

It all starts with a birthday party. Four friends exchanging gifts. A banal enough scenario, but one that provides the catalyst for a maelstrom of jealousy, manipulation, deceit and betrayal.

Sell Out uses text, movement and music to show the lives and loves of a bunch of today’s white, middle-class, heterosexual twenty-somethings. Judging from the warm response of its largely youthful audience, it is an accurate portrait. There is no disputing the calibre of talent involved in this show. Movement and text are rarely this well combined – each serving to expand and illuminate the other in a manner that could serve as a useful lesson for many lesser companies. The performers are uniformly excellent.

Yet Sell Out fails as a piece. Perhaps all of those involved are too close to their characters to be able to dissect, rather than merely reflect their dilemmas (revealingly, the performers share the same names as their characters). Too often in this show sound-bite is mistaken for insight – as demonstrated by the constant mantra: ‘same world, different plant’.

Sell Out is the fag-end of the ‘me generation’: narcissistically staring at its own reflection, unable to see the larger picture, blinded by its own self-importance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-4
p. 22