Brighton Fringe 2007
Death by PowerPoint
Venue: Sussex Arts Club
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Do companies get mentally ill? Blanchards, the dysfunctional glue making company at this play’s core, is most definitely completely psychotic.
With a sales strategy nicked from the pages of Mein Kampf, facilitation techniques that are a dehumanising onslaught and department meetings a kind of death process the company is certainly doomed to breakdown. The same fate also awaits the work mad employees, strung out everyone of them, but not of Levy’s insightful play which lifts the lid off what he describes as the major sickness of our age: mediocrity!
PowerPoint king Phil is dead (making skinny lattes in the sky) and four of his old work mates gather at his grave. Alan’s considering suicide, Louise and Sandra have a bone to settle and Joe has travelled back from his sheep farm bolthole in New Zealand. What unfolds is a renewal of friendships, a rekindling of love and a rebirth of human, rather than company, values. The cast of Mark Katz, Alastair Kerr, Tamsin Shasha and Melanie Page flow chart the human condition and the dangers of taking work too seriously with pace, panache and a deft touch of humour. Phil, played by real life Manufacturing Manager David Knowles making his theatrical debut, makes a brave, and wet, entrance with his beloved lap top as a part of the filmed Brighton Beach backdrop.
Audiences to this show should be warned: see this and you’ll be looking where to administer the Prozac next Monday morning.