“A journal editor, a co-editor and their intern explore what it means to work, live and rebel in our world today”, it says in the programme blurb, and the title of the piece implies that this is going to be an exploration of what is meant by failure, or the meaning of success.
It does, however, take some time to work out, if indeed you do work out, that this is what’s going on, just by watching the show.
It begins with a large man being instructed by a rather irritable disembodied voice to take up various yoga poses. Why? Dunno.
He goes on to pretend, for a considerable period, to be a chicken, while the other two performers alternately ignore him, shout at him, or cuddle up to him. Not your average magazine office, then.
What the purpose of this publication is, is not clear. To study failure? There follows a great deal of passionate, though rather obscure, ranting between the three of them which involves magazine budgets, ancient Greek democracy, the ‘sea people’ and constant rapid changes of mood between philosophising, bullying and wheedling, involving a great deal of shouting, and even actual violence, including murder (or is it? The apparent corpse is later revived to be shouted at some more), all this punctuated by occasional lighting blackouts.
What points it makes about success or failure get rather lost in the arbitrary surrealism of the script and the repetitive over-acting of the performances. Shame.
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Reviewer: John Christopher Wood | Star rating: **