Towards the end of the week I went to what is probably the weirdest theatre performance I have ever experienced – the Office Party Show, which runs in one of the Pleasance Theatre’s performance spaces until January 2012.
Devised by Christopher Green and cabaret star Ursula Martinez (notorious for her ‘Hanky Panky’ magic routine which ends up with her standing completely naked on the stage) the Office Party Show audience are invited through the doors of the head office of ‘Product Solutions Ltd’ (actually one of the performance spaces at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington) for an evening of party games, cabaret and dance floor action. The event starts as you’re given a badge indicating which area of the company that you work in, handed a drink and then ushered inside – my tip is to try to get yourself labelled as an ‘Executive’ as you’ll get to observe the evening from an exclusive roped-off balcony while all the ordinary workers are down on the dancefloor, and you’ll also be treated to a very convincing roleplay from Product Solutions CEO, Richard Rycroft, who is every bit the pompous and overbearing boss.
The most remarkable aspect of the Office Party Show is that very quickly it begins to feel like a real office party, and you’re never quite sure whether the person you’re chatting to is a performer or another theatre-goer – in fact it’s that well executed that the roleplay even extends to the outside smoking area. Just like one of the better office parties there are quite a few shocks and surprises too, including huge stand-up rows, very public displays of drunkeness and projectile vomiting, and to spice things up a bit there’s also some impromptu striptease and free-running into the bargain!
I was in a party of two for the evening but I think that you’d probably get the best out of the event by going along in as large a group as possible, and preferably a group of co-workers to really give it the authentic feel – no doubt they’re hoping to take advantage of the Christmas party crowd given that performances extend over the festive season. If you and your colleagues are looking for a bit of a different night out I think that the Office Party Show might just fit the bill – a really edgy and unusual way to spend an evening – I highly recommend it.