Theatre review: On Hold
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: On Hold at theSpace on North Bridge (Venue 36), reviewed by Susan Mansfield
Recent graduate Izzy Tennyson captures the banalities and absurdities of office life in this comedy, staged with panache by Scratchworks, a new company formed by students and graduates from Exeter University.
Maggie (Katherine Darke), the irrepressibly cheerful office manager at P&I Promotions, announces that she’s leaving to spend more time with her family, freeing up a promoted post. Who will get it? Will it be Malcolm (Darren Siah), the uptight graduate who thinks it is all beneath him; Dennis (Michael Smith), the office joker; or even Josie (Claudia Campbell), the keen-but-chaotic junior?
While Tennyson’s play feels rather like an hour-long sitcom, it is spot on with its observations of work, the semi-sincere relationships which develop between colleagues, the undercurrents which seethe beneath the daily banter, and the fact that there are times when someone else finishing the apple and blackcurrant juice really, really matters.
Perhaps the characters lean towards being stereotypes, but the young cast deliver such strong performances they quickly become three-dimensional. Add to that a good pace and a few laugh-out-loud moments and you have a very promising piece of work.
Until 24 August.
Originally published in The Scotsman
More info: On Hold is at theSpace on North Bridge