Cast: 5 Female / 2 Male, plus female extra’s Length: 2 Acts (110 minutes)
Synopsis: All is not well at Discount Co. The suburban supermarket has seen better days and, ominously, the long-time owner has just sold out to a bean-counting accountant who has fresh ideas on how to turn a profit.
It is all going to have a serious impact on the lives of the checkout chicks – doyenne Barbara, the neurotic Michelle, and recent migrant Aisha.
When the new owner – who is only ever heard intoning instructions to staff in a dull monotone over the store intercom in the menacing style of Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984 – decides to install automatic self-service tills, the checkout chicks declare war in a desperate bid to save their threatened jobs. Complicating the picture are the customers, among them former owner Jim Everson, the love-struck, boisterous twin terrors Susan and Sharon, as well as Michelle’s boyfriend from the meat department, Rob.
Poor Barbara cannot imagine life outside Discount Co, having worked there for 35 years – “I am the original checkout chick,” she tells us – so when her cunning plan to engage “Sven” to undermine the new “robots” turns to disaster, she comes up with an even more drastic solution. But even she cannot foresee the twists that fate has in store.
Barbara: Aged in her early 60’s, Barbara has been at DiscountCo for her entire working life. Michelle: Can be played as late 20’s through to early 40’s. Michelle took time out from her University studies and never returned to them. Engaged to Rob who also works at the supermarket.
Aisha: Mid 20’s to early 30’s. An immigrant with a Master’s Degree in the field of technology, Aisha is only at the supermarket while she looks for a higher paying job in I.T. Her English, though accented, is excellent. Rob: Appropriately aged to match his fiancée, Michelle (late 20’s to 40’s), Rob is a butcher at the supermarket. Mr. Everson: Aged 65, Mr. Everson is the recently retired former owner of the supermarket. Brian: 20’s to 30’s, visits Aisha every day who he is desperate to impress. Susan: In her 60’s Susan is a busybody and regular customer, along with her best friend Sharon, at DiscountCo. Sharon: In her 60’s, Sharon is best friends with Susan (they are inseparable) and a regular customer at DiscountCo. Other Customers: The play calls for various other customers who can be played by 3 or more actors depending on to what degree (if at all) you double the roles.
what the critics are saying
"...talented playwright and director Devon Williamson has taken a topical issue and turned it into an enjoyable comedy with poignant touches, which delighted a packed first-night audience"
- Bay of Plenty Times
"...features his trademark wit, gift for the wonderfully absurd, and unorthodox wordplay that’ll leave your cheeks sore from excessive smiling."
- The Weekend Sun
"...delightfully quirky comedy..." - Manawatu Standard
"It all adds up to a madcap romp with side portions of romance and pathos." - Rotorua Daily Post
"Williamson is known for taking what we know and putting a riotous, ridiculous twist on it." - Manawatu Standard
New Players Theatre (2017) Globe Theatre (2017) Gaslight Theatre (2016)
Shambles Theatre (2016)
Detour Theatre (2016) Premier Season