Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, until Mon 31 Aug 2015 @ 13:15

(Reviewed during previews)

We’re all individuals, and we all have our flaws. We all have our utopic ideas about different aspects of social, moral, and political behaviour – some of us extroverted, others more passive; some outspoken, others reticent. But in the end of the day, human beings – whether we like to admit it or not – are inherently similar: only really interested in number one.

Four university graduates from completely different backgrounds – chosen from hundreds to partake in an intensive twelve month internship for a leading corporate banking organisation, all with the similar idea that “one’s career path should be tackled incrementally, and not all at once” – are placed together in this taut, well-acted and witty production, where only the very best will succeed. From an outside point of view, this might seem like an excellent opportunity. However, if certain employees refuse to leave personal circumstances at the door, things will inevitably, in time, take a perilous turn for the worse.

The simplified props and setting were excellently utilised, but an over-emphasis on perfectly structured scene changes, and the occasionally extraneous use of the mid-scene-change-physicality, meant the overall performance suffered slightly. The narrative had great potential, but a lack of exposition, and a superfluous use of the sardonic one-liner, spoiled the potential for characters’ depth, making it difficult for the audience to feel empathetic during the tragic dénouement. Having said that, the way the cast mixed pathos and humour was, at times, very agreeable – perfectly executing the emotions involved in those awkward social moments life perpetually throws at us.

Run by Engineer Theatre Collective – with a strong, well-rehearsed cast, who seemed collectively confident on stage – is a fast-paced, fine example of the capriciousness of everyday working life in an office, only slightly marred by too much time spent on the theatrical aesthetics, as opposed to the journey of the characters.