Many of us find ourselves working to pay off the looming student debt accumulated from our studies. The concept of the ‘dream job’, seemingly impossible. A job you’ve spent years training for, hard to grasp due to the ever growing competitive job market. Cue Jeremy Tiang’s Fulfillment, a meditation on the rite of passage of life after studies.
A rehearsed reading as part of Yellow Earth’s Typhoon Festival, Fulfillment revolves around Bennett who dreams of a literary career, however very quickly finds herself taking on a warehouse packing job role at one of the world’s biggest corporations, Amazon. Creativity vs set routines dominate Bennett’s day to day, Tiang perfectly captures the longing of an artist wanting to pursue a highly revered crafting stories for readers to appreciate hence offering an approachable lead.
Tiang brilliantly maps out the tangential relationship between Bennett and Megru, Bennett’s astute shift manager. The dynamic between the duo is multi-faceted. Mengru is sure to criticise Bennett’s Americanness, and lack of knowledge on topics within her cultural heritage, whereas Bennett questions Mengru’s business focused mentality. Tiang writes two female leads constantly challenging one another with their ideas and beliefs. They at one point form an allegiance however their working relationship/friendship is never clear cut, and that’s fascinating to watch. They look to one another for support, there’s a sense of a subtle interdependence that both would never admit outwardly, but both silently appreciate.
Tiang carves a non forgiving, corporate world around them. They are two cogs in an ever expanding machine. Their jobs are thankless, the hours each worker puts in, unappreciated. The weight of this backdrop is subtle, and this works to the play’s advantage as it mimics life, everyone’s day to day. Scenes at the warehouse are weaved with Bennett’s weekly sessions at the local writer’s group and interactions with work colleagues. Bennett and Mengru’s dynamic is the strongest, the nuance on display makes for an entertaining watch.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Fulfillment was shown on Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at the Soho Theatre as part of Yellow Earth’s Typhoon Festival. To find out more about the festival, visit here…