The Win Bin** (Old Red Lion Theatre)

Posted: September 4, 2015 in Theatre

win binThis review was originally written for The Public Reviews:: http://www.thepublicreviews.com

How far will youngsters go to get a job in the arts these days, one that isn’t even paid? Kate Kennedy and Sara Joyce set about answering just that question in this 70-minute entertainment, made up of a succession of quick-fire sketches. Bethany Wells’ set looks like an installation intended for Tate Modern – blue and pink polka dots on a white background, perhaps meant to resemble a sweet shop without sweets. Three women and three men are shortlisted for the job – an artist, a poet, a photographer, a choreographer, a taxidermist and a crafter – all strutting their stuff and competing with each other in front of an unseen panel in a series increasingly ridiculous “tasks”. It is a sort of Big Brother format. Kennedy plays all three female characters, with Wilf Scolding playing all the males. Arrogance, pretentiousness and backbiting within the arts fraternity are the targets of much of Kennedy’s satirical humour, giving rise to a suspicion that many of the show’s jokes will resonate more strongly with insiders than among a general audience. Her script describes six potentially rich characters, but the rapid changes make it almost impossible to distinguish one of the three females and males from another, which is where this production shoots itself in the foot. Kennedy and Scolding both have strong personalities and they attack their roles with enthusiasm, but it is asking too much of any actor to switch characters instantly and repeatedly without any assistance from costumes and props. As a result, six candidates are, in effect, reduced to two and sketches that needed to be driven by both jokes and characters are left with just the jokes. This show is amusing only intermittently and, sadly, it all adds up to very little.

Performance date: 3 September 2015

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