If you take five 17 years olds, give them an internship at a leading advertising agency, add in the promise of a permanent job for only one of them then you have the right ingredients for a strong and uplifting musical.
The lucky five who are chosen to intern at Cicero Advertising - Archie, Amanda, Albert, Alice and Amber, selected because the office chose the first five alphabetically, range from the hard workers and eager to please to those happy to question why they need a job or a CV in the first place. ‘The internship jerks’, as they initially nickname themselves, initially skulk from mundane job to mundane job before taking on a real challenge, to create a marketing campaign for empty water bottles, with a contract for the best intern on the job.
The show is littered with some catchy tunes that get feet tapping throughout the audience. ‘Guilty pleasures’ - a song where Albert realises his true feelings for Amber despite her lower social class - is an excellent song, while ‘Will I be here next year’ is poignant and beautifully sung by the head of the company Mr Cicero’s personal assistant, who puts in a soulful shift.
There are some weak performances - Mr Cicero himself doesn’t project his lines at all well, while the ‘bromance’ of the permanent office workers Perkins and Hamilton is not well done enough to be believable. The office portrayed as somewhat set in its ways with a stereotypical sexist approach. The song ‘Men in the Workplace’ talks about male supremacy and laziness in the office (with three men having a mock game of golf at lunchtime), though this may have been an attempt at satire it fails to translate to the audience and instead comes across as misplaced.
The ending really lets the play down unfortunately. With the job contest settled in an unsurprising way and rather predictable romantic conclusions. Nonetheless, the show is good fun and certainly more exciting than a typical day at the office.