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Getting Out

Published Wednesday 22 April 2009 at 11:25 by Sally Stott

This topical comedy about a group of eclectic office workers in a city law firm has the glossy sheen of a well-polished farce, along with stellar performances from a talented and versatile cast who expertly morph between multiple roles.

Writer Sarah Henley’s play (her first) has clearly been inspired by the recognisable characters she met working in corporate environments - go-getter lawyers, workshy secretaries, evil bosses and annoying co-workers. While stereotypes certainly aren’t absent from the piece, both writer and actors work to inject them with individualism and charm, leading to some great moments of original humour and physicality - something especially impressive for anyone who feels that Ricky Gervais’ The Office had pretty much exhausted the subject matter.

As a piece of theatre, the play suffers from the lack of a thematic punch. The characters don’t seem particularly preoccupied with escaping office life - as the title suggests - which in a way is refreshing, but also leaves an unfilled hole for a stronger overriding perspective.

Henley expertly juggles multiple characters and story strands, but faces difficulties when trying to sustain what is essentially the structure of a television sitcom for this length of time. However, this is an enjoyable play by a clearly talented new writer who demonstrates poise and comic timing not often seen in such an early piece of work.

Production information

The Lion and the Unicorn Theatre, London, April 21 - May 9

Author:
Sarah Henley
Directors:
Gillian Foley, Francis Watson
Producer:
Giant Olive
Cast includes:
Shamaya Chalabi, Phineas Pett, Timothy O'Hara, Kate Skinner, Law Ballard, Timothy Knightley
Running time:
1hr 45mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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