Nice Work If You Can Get It
The Lost Rung @ Arcade Lane – Regent One
7:00pm, Sun 6 Mar 2011
Having seen The Lost Rung’s physically acrobatic style of theatre when the performed in conjunction with Vital Organs Collective in 2009 and 2010, I was really looking forward to seeing more of Josh Mitchell and Adam Jackson’s high-energy feats of strength and balance.
But, disappointingly, that’s not really what Nice Work If You Can Get It was about.
What it is about is a look at the stereotypical office space through the lens of physical theatre. It explores the inherent hierarchies, the day-to-day tedium, the abstraction from the real world that office drudgery typifies. And Mitchell & Jackson’s movements are well-realised, working with the subject matter to create a genuine sense of purpose in their actions.
The problem is that, compared to their earlier works, it all happens so slooooooowly.
Normally I’d err on the side of charitably calling it “contemplative”, but in this case it was just slow. Treacle-ish. And I understand that, when it comes to acrobatic displays of strength and balance, a lack of speed demonstrates a higher level of competence, but it also makes for a pretty ordinary audience experience (coupled with the fact that, when the boys did start performing some of the tricks I’d been expecting, the audience had been lulled into a sense of theatre – thus leading to some almost comically shy attempts at the clapping which has become de rigueur for circus performances these days).
The premise for Nice Work If You Can Get It – and even the content – was interesting; it’s just that the pacing was way off. If this had been performed in twenty minutes, rather than sixty, it would’ve worked a treat.