Article by Cassandra Ramsay @cassramsay

We throw away them away; we tear off coupons; we find them at the bottom of bags and in the trunk of the car. But how much does a grocery receipt actually say about a person?

The Paper Cut Collective, an ensemble of Newcastle-based emerging artists, are using this idea and heading to Crack Theatre Festival for the second time with their new work-in-development Spent.

Using discarded grocery receipts as its primary text, Spent is a playful and imaginative exploration of choice and identity in the familiar ritual of the supermarket dash.


“Spent aims to challenge those things we take as a given, to disrupt the auto-pilot of everyday life and discover the beauty, the magic, the extraordinary in something we generally regard as very ordinary” says collective member Tamara Gazzard,

“The grocery receipt is a throw away item to most people, but it actually documents a whole range of interesting things about who we are, our consumer habits, our choices and our identities, as individuals and as a society.”

Along with Tamara the collective is comprised of Lucy Shepherd and Sarah Coffee, and formed in 2012 to create a verbatim theatre work called The Past is a Foreign Country, which went on to have a full season at Newcastle’s Civic Playhouse.

Between the three performers they have undertaken internships with Sydney-based documentary company Version 1.0, worked with Newcastle’s Tantrum Theatre and worked with live art collective Big One Little One.

The three women have devised Spent together and will present a 30 minute work-in-development at Crack Theatre Festival, with the hope to test their ideas and receive feedback to propel the work forward with potential future sound and video collaborators.

“We did this last year and the feedback we received from festival artists and audiences was invaluable” reflects Tamara.

This is a bite-sized theatre experience not to be missed.