Scotsman Assembly, Edinburgh
August, 2000

So an Englishman, a Scotsman, a Spaniard and an Australian go into a theatre... and make magic. The quartet who are Generally Better Productions serve up a trio of visual/physical theatre pieces in which the many laughs are ultimately undercut by gloomier resolutions.

The three items peer into the lives of various workers in the same office, so that over the course of an hour and a half we periodically see the same moments from a series of differing perspectives. The opener, Dream On Mr Tibble, is not only physically but linguistically inventive, staged in a cosmpolitan babble from which only occasional words jump out. Tibble is the universal butt of contempt at home and at work, bullied even by the office security man and cuckolded under his nose. But then the worm turns. The Unfortunate Predicament Of Amelia Sas tells of his colleague, her entire life rigorously planned by her parents, who just wants to cut loose before she dies and almost succeeds. Frank's Wardrobe sees their boss trying and failing to cope with being left by his wife and children.

The physical inventiveness of these pieces is consistently mesmerising, and their skill at blending comedy and tragedy a sheer delight.

Written for the Financial Times Web site, ft.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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