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The nine-to-five drag

By: Johann M. Smith | 16 Jul 2012 11:44
Oh, Mondays! The restart of commerce culture's tyrannical conformity cycle: a nine-to-five, strike-the-clock drag that supposedly improves your life more than it ruins it. Better start seeking the beauty in the invisible, or become a chain-smoking heartless bastard.

Photo by Danielle le Chat
Enter OfficeBLOCK, a series set in the familiar world of white-collar workers and dreary office surroundings where everything is business as usual. Directed by Jayne Batzofin, originally devised under the direction of Rob Murray, the play attempts to make fun of the banal and uninspiring, and succeeds somewhat to shed a new-found magic.

Through situational comedy and symbolic reference, the story is told around a water cooler. Four typecast characters find themselves in a familiar setting of clicking and clacking keyboards, sexual harassments and office politics. Everything is like it should be, yet all is not what it seems.

A loss of morals and a search for the innocent

What is essentially an FTH:K production, theatre which features Deaf and hearing performers, is a brilliantly novel way to view what 1000 words have attempted to say: it sucks. Beneath the exterior of it all, there is a loss of morals and a search for the innocent and otherworldly. Or perhaps there is nothing at all, your mind just gets psychologically screwed, because really, this isn't what working and being human is all about.

Through the use of interpretive dance, facial expressions (kudos to Sinethemba Mgebisa starring as the nervous newcomer), and dreamy non sequiturs, the piece is more than the sum of its parts. And what could have been kitsch is an excellent grasp of office nonsense at its most primal and visceral. Two thumbs up? No doubt.

OfficeBLOCK runs at the Baxter Theatre till the 21 July

About Johann M. Smith

Johann M. Smith is the head of social at luxury and adventure operator Safari365 and the launch designer of dance magazine IDM. Johann specialises in entertainment, travel and social commentary.
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