Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Two office workers at Rucks’s Leather Interiors show us a typical day for them. However, this is not a typical day at anyone else’s office! Their way of getting things done is interactive using physical theatre infused with comedy.
Combining physical theatre and comedy, these two performers from New Zealand are zany, farcical and a breath of fresh air. They take their jobs seriously and use buzzwords commonly heard at business conferences and company meetings. They sound like the real deal until you look a bit closer. With a blend of naiveté and stoic consistency they create busy work and go about their day being productive.
They work at Ruck’s Leather Interiors and the office is alive with phone calls, coffee breaks and brief cases. It sounds and looks normal enough, but Wakenshaw and Duncan are skilled at mime and physical acting and they have created two special characters. Mixing all these elements creates absurdist theatre at its most inventive. Often inventions and good ideas are simple – and so are these two, but in a good way, an entertaining way and an extremely imaginative way.
First, the performers have great chemistry and play off together really well. Their characters contrast slightly and both characters believe 110% in what they are doing and achieving in their work place. They wear grey business suits and are keen to network, yet one of them may walk to work in a quirky physical movement or mime walk, another may get caught up in an entangling handshake. They are extroverts when self promoting but socially awkward at heart. Also, they are good friends at work and share moments of clownish goofiness with the odd fleeting moment of seriousness.
Music brings about changes of pace and mood that complement the physical storytelling and adds another side to the characters when they interact. Examples of the stuff that happens in the one-hour show are that animals feature a few times and they have an interesting way of smoking – you have to be there to see it!
Wakenshaw and Duncan have created an impressive show, which is complete. The set is attractive and functional, the flow from ideas to topics and activities throughout their workday is fine-tuned and their physical acting skills are very good. The dialogue between them is economic and meaningful, saying just what they need yet in their own way! They are dynamic performers and invent the right balance of action, reaction and silliness. The story unfolds with excellent timing and its always so fascinating watching these two performers. We see how the deal with life and work and one can only imagine what goes on in their heads when not at their office.
It’s all happening at Ruck’s Leather Interiors where Wakenshaw and Duncan have found the art in menial office tasks and they tell their story with clarity and conviction. These two characters are delightful eccentrics – its a bonkers show , so go see! On their flyer they invite everyone to “pop down to their pop-up showroom in Leith” the phone number is 0139 leather (01395 328 437). Try calling – and see if they answer!