When Wylie finds a receipt stuck to his shoe it launches him on a painstaking search for its owner, customer 24182. In The Receipt, this quest takes him and us through a day in the life of either an extraordinary, inquisitive mind or an obsessive time-waster. But what could easily be tiresomely tedious turns out to be an acute, ironic depiction of modern city life, with its anonymity and impersonality. It's also very funny.
The Receipt is performed by Will Adamsdale (winner of the 2004 Perrier Award for Jackson's Way), splendidily complemented by Chris Branch as bit-part player and soundman on Moog and sonorous, amplified filing cabinet.
As Wylie, Adamsdale experiences the frustrations and angst of the bureaucratic baggage, corporate pretentiousness and petty regulations that plague our everyday existence. He puzzles over slogans, "How's your talking?" and "Eat" and meaningless product labels such as "Apple", "Oyster" and "Goldfish", and is tormented by a "busy-wall", a "diventryphone" and an impenetrable myriad of exit dockets. The soundtrack to his Kafkaesque narrative is cunningly underscored by Branch, whose percussive tapestry of bleeps, rings, tones and squawks, harmonised with thuds and clunks, strikes a shrill chord of recognition with the chaos and challenges of 21st-century living.
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