Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Darkly comedic look at the world of work and just how desperate things can be when you’re struggling to get onto the lowest rung of the career ladder.
Cassie Symes and Georgie Thomas are getting desperate. It doesn’t matter how many job applications they file on-line, off-line or in person, they can’t seem to crack the corporate code that opens the magic door to a regular pay cheque. So nearly there, yet not quite.
It’s not as if they’re short of talent – after all, Cassie always returns the stapler to its correct location and Georgie describes herself as “unbearably reliable”. But cracking the Da Vinci code looks a breeze compared to this malarkey. However, just as the duo are about to chuck it all in and opt for a life in the performing arts instead, they finally succeed in getting past the first hurdle and land interviews for the job of their dreams. Well, a job anyway. Possibly.
This is a very well-researched forty-minute satirical sketch show on the process of finding work that subtly exposes the ridiculous charade that (particularly) young people (graduates or otherwise) have to follow just to get onto the lowest rung of the career ladder. Our dynamic actors tell the story by playing a wide variety of roles from male/female interviewers to corporate gatekeepers to parents to the main characters themselves, using a convincing mix of accents and characterisations and quite a lot of rather energetic (and nicely choreographed) physical theatre.
And the script highlights the utter gibberish that pervades seemingly every global and national corporate brand as well as illustrating the utterly humiliating experience that so many decent people are put through as part of the job screening process, two of which have to include the fabled assessment centre and those psychometric tests that produce about as coherent a picture of an individual as the average three year old could with a pot of poster paints.
I speak here from the bitter experience of thirty years inhabiting the corporate world being subtly ridiculed by Symes and Thomas. But beneath the clever humour that Thick ‘n’ Fast pepper throughout the piece lies, I suspect, a plea from the heart – simplify the recruitment process and spend more time searching for people who can make a difference. By talking to them.
Symes and Thomas have real talent and are an excellent double act. Great one-liners, a clever theme and slick delivery make this a show with great potential. And the rapid flow of sketches is aided and abetted by inventive use of the small Gilded Balloon stage as well as some clever lighting states and creative use of music as background or segues. But can they both finally crack it and land the job of their dreams?