Emma is called in for a meeting with her manager and is reminded of a company contract she signed at the start of her employment: she must inform the company whenever she develops a relationship with a coworker of a sexual or romantic nature. During this meeting, it turns out that she went out for dinner with a co-worker. The rest of the play then consists of these meetings, in which Emma must discuss the nature of her relationship with this co-worker, and the company’s insidious mindset towards her personal life.

The play tries to make a comedy based on the absurdity of a company that takes an entirely impersonal, dehumanising attitude towards its employees.

From the very start, it is clear exactly where this play is going. Yes, Emma’s relationship with her co-worker becomes serious, and he gets relocated. Yes, they have a child together, and the company frowns on this and takes more and more ridiculous measures that tear apart Emma’s life. The play tries to make a comedy based on the absurdity of a company that takes an entirely impersonal, dehumanising attitude towards its employees. The script tries to unravel how the wording of a signed contract can be exploited by a company that only cares about profit, and how Orwellian surveillance can result from it. But the script is simply too boring to give life to the premise. It attempts to create humour from the manager being a robotic non-human and from the company’s complete indifference towards its employees’ humanity, but the progression of the plot is predictable and there is no subtlety or depth to the way the play explores the questions of capitalistic policies and surveillance.

The format of the production does not help with the script’s monotony. Scene after scene, the only thing that takes place on stage is a meeting between Emma and her manager. The actors are decent, but there probably wasn’t much they could have done to make the characters interesting. Overall, it is a play that wasn’t worth writing, and certainly wasn’t worth producing.

Reviews by Kyung Oh

Underbelly, Cowgate

Before Us

Traverse Theatre

Men in the Cities

Pleasance Courtyard

Years to the Day

theSpace on Niddry St

Can't Stay Away!


Snoutology for Beginners

C venues - C

The Road to Skibbereen


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Mike Bartlett's dark satire. In the office of a nameless manager, within an unspecified multinational company, Emma, a polite and successful member of the sales team, is asked to read aloud a clause in her contract which forbids 'any relationship, activity or act' between employees 'which could be characterised as sexual or romantic'. During the following meetings, the company's power and control over its employees' personal lives, and Emma's attempts to resist, escalate in their absurdity, humiliation and menace. Often ferociously funny while being absolutely appalling. Will make sure you never set foot in the office again.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £39.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets