Theatre review: Not Quite, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh

The two hosts play interviewers, bosses and themselves to create an impressive number of sketches from the rich subject matter of the working world.
The two hosts play interviewers, bosses and themselves to create an impressive number of sketches from the rich subject matter of the working world.
Share this article
0
Have your say

Georgie describes herself as "unbearably reliable", Casey always gives the stapler back, together they're unemployable – not that they, like many young people, in any way deserve to be.


Not Quite, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Venue 24) * * * *

Through a lively comedy sketch show, the two women satirise the job-application process, highlighting the disparity between would-be employers' increasingly elaborate demands for candidates to 'sell themselves' and the nepotism and faux professional rigour under which companies offering jobs are able to operate, due to a lack of accountability.

With a style perhaps inspired by the classic comedy double acts the 1980s, the two hosts, complete with office-appropriate, colour-block, wide-legged trousers, play interviewers, bosses and themselves to create an impressive number of sketches from the rich subject matter of the working world.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe 2019: 5 must-see comedians that you might not have heard of

Witty dialogue ("What will you bring to the role? " "Myself") is paired with comic clowning ("How flexible can you be?" "Very"), while robotic interview processes and corporate bullshit are rendered farcical. The numerous ways in which the performers are able to send up the strange conventions of office language demonstrate just how prevalent it has become, as well as the pressures employees face to let it absorb their whole life ("FlipFlop Fridays" anyone?).

The promise of a good education versus the realities of what follows is painful and funny. There's a lot of horror to be found in the Orwellian jobspeak that fills daily life in 2019, where people's value is too often defined by their ability to conform rather than stand out.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe 2019: 6 of the Best Shows Finishing This Week

At a time when young people are also unfairly disadvantaged and exploited by workplaces, the piece feels like a small-scale but important act of fighting back – one where the jokes are powered by an underlying anger and a fire-like glint burning beneath Georgie and Casey's amiable on-stage personas.

Until 26 August

For unlimited access to The Scotsman's festival coverage, subscribe here.​