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Odd Jobs | Hope Theatre

Odd Jobs, written and directed by Madison Gerringer, gives audiences a fly on the wall glimpse into the workplace and the masks behind employees. Whilst the jobs are rarely specified, and characters mostly unnamed, there's a clear sense of what is happening. The creative decision to remain so entirely vague is a clever one, allowing the audience to interpret it however they like, which leads to a personal relatability. 

The show is divided into seven sections - watching, training, clowning, dreaming, pretending, mourning and burning. Each section contains a set of smaller scenes within the workplace, that highlight the hypocrisy, hidden agenda and flaws that exist unnoticed. Alongside this, is the slow but steady effect this has on the characters. Each section is brought to a close with a profound quote from philosophers, or great novelists, each questioning the system. Joining these five quotes is a cheeky one from the play's writer (Madison Gerringer). 

The cast work really well together, each bringing a different take on the show. Keaton Wilkerson does a wonderful and accurate job as being a Dungeon Master for an online Dungeons and Dragons session, bringing a wonderfully hilarious and ironically passionate performance. Matthew Gouldesbrough does an impressive job at becoming a seal, another delightful performance that quickly turns dark. George Solomou delivers a stand out performance with an earnest performance as the "rookie", bringing his moral and internal conflicts to the foreground.

Each section compromises of two or three unnamed characters. The brilliance of Odd Jobs comes not just from the impact of the job on each character, but also how it affects relationships. Gerringer has culminated a script and cast to be proud of. With little specificity, it would be easy to lose or confuse the audience, yet Odd Jobs is an easy follow that allows the audience time to process and connect to the events.

The set is made up only of a table and two chairs with the occasional prop being brought on by the actors. The show uses voice overs between sections (along with the quotes being projected onto the walls), where people describe the weirdest job they've ever had, and some of these are truly bizarre. Each section has a number of scene transitions, wherein the lights dip and the music begins, which does get slightly jarring at times due to its frequency. It works in terms of storytelling, but does provide a little distracting, especially with nice but rather peppy music (Larsen and Chalk)

Through an almost montage of lives sucked and trapped in the workforce, Odd Jobs is an effective and whimsical way of questioning the system. Both entertaining and thought provoking, the play is a fascinating watch. Odd Jobs is currently playing at the Hope Theatre until 6th April. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography provided by Elegy Theatre


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