Executive Stress/Corporate Retreat
Interactive corporate satire is an embarrassing affair
This article is from 2012.
A really great interactive show creates a new environment so convincing the audience has no choice but to get involved. Executive Stress/Corporate Retreat, which unfolds in a black box space packed with sharp-suited actors, doesn't quite manage this. Devised by Australian company Applespiel, this show is stuck somewhere between a play and a genuinely interactive experience. It makes for an embarrassing rather than immersive affair.
The actors aren't quite committed or consistent enough. Sometimes their performances are gleefully quirky, as they play corporate bods driven bonkers by stress. At other times, the actors come across as bland but realistic office workers. It's tough for the audience to surrender to the show, when surrounded by such uncertainty.
We're frequently encouraged to endure a number of 'character building exercises' but, with little input from the actors, it feels horribly over-exposed. We alternate between playing the role of spectator and performer and the constant jolts are unsettling. A promising idea but much more rigour is required to set this concept free.
C eca, 0845 260 1234, until 27 Aug, 1.50pm, £7.50--£9.50 (£5.50--£7.50).