Follow Suit by Silent Faces Theatre at Goldsmiths College

Office clowning is a great way to stick it to the grisly idea of being confined to an office all day, stamping, stapling, looking though bits of paper, having board meetings and dealing with office politics. Silent Faces have used exactly this approach in their new physical comedy show which is heading to the Brighton Fringe for 9th May and from 27th – 30th May.

Four office workers slowly descend into madness from their office selves. Their calm faces transform into pure horror as the show jumps to life. The limited office phraseology of ‘right’, ‘so’, ‘well’ and ‘okay’, sums up their collective responses and communication in the office. However, one by one, the lights above their heads are turned off. How will they respond? What will this mean for their status in the office?

The office phrases also give the characters their names. Jen Wakely as ‘So’ was extremely watchable as the head honcho, and her ridiculous shoulder pads were a brilliant and absurd tweak to her otherwise professional appearance. Cordelia Stevenson was very funny as an alternately officious and nervous office stooge. Megan Smyth was very likeable as the alternative one of the group, the only one who questioned the darker things going on this office. And Adam Deane as ‘Okay’ had the classic look of a clown and performed amiably along side the rest of the cast. Were all of them going to conform to the endless monotony of office life?

We had questions about the pacing of some sections and some of the costume choices. Questions concerning these particular issues were raised by the company at the end of the show. This was a company willing to listen to its audience to improve their work – an extremely brave but positive thing to do that can only be beneficial to this young company.

Really good work from Silent Faces Theatre combining clowning, physical theatre and classical music to create a funny piece of theatre on the joys or otherwise of working in an office. Check them out in Brighton if you are going down!

Highlight of the show – the Patrick Bateman-esque character appearing every so often with another package…

3/5 WIGS

Silent Faces will be performing Follow Suit at the Sallis Benney Theatre in Brighton at 19:00 on the 9th May and at the The Warren: Studio 2 at 14:45 between the 27th – 30th.

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