Grab a mediocre coffee from the vending machine and make your way into the all-too-familiar world of the office worker. It’s not exciting, but then again… how can it be? Blue Sky Thinking follows Penny’s transition from a creative into a corporate robot as she takes up an office job to pay off debt accumulated by her boyfriend, Rob.
An excellent, honest and hilarious piece of drama
The scripting was excellent; it encapsulated how the mundane office routine affects its workers. There was a perfect balance between humour and sobriety as Penny (Chelsea Newton Mountney) often broke the fourth wall to invite the audience to join the work-place banter. Her character tackled the challenge of upholding a positive attitude in an environment which seems destined to quell it. Sadly, the pressures of the office were often brought home and you could see the strain on Penny and Rob’s (Daniel Lovett) relationship. Their journey through the production was hard to watch, as I was rooting for them to be happy when it seemed unlikely. Daniel Lovett was an excellent counterpart for Chelsea and really took on the role of the loving boyfriend. Yet it was Chelsea who was the glue of the production and a total joy to watch.
I loved the scenes between Penny and boss Greg, played by Culann Smyth. Greg spoke in an unnecessarily complicated way, each sentence full of business and Penny provided comedy in the clueless way she blagged understanding him. A highlight for me was Greg’s PowerPoint presentation using Darth Vader as a worker case study. He stated that Darth Vader’s weaknesses for personal improvement were that ‘he hides behind a mask, is emotionally unstable and has an inability to take criticism’ which had the audience in stitches.
A special mention also needs to go to Trevor Scales who played Penny’s colleague, Bill. He was great in the way he told stories (similarly to Greg they were often long-winded) and did an excellent Liam Gallagher impression.
Overall, I’m certain this was relatable for most people who saw it, as I know I’ve certainly faced the creative versus sensible dilemma before. Rich Foyster and the rest of Pop Heart Productions have created an excellent, honest and hilarious piece of drama and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to watch it during this year’s Fringe.