Follow Suit

Set in a stark environment of desks and bare lightbulbs, Silent Faces’ Follow Suit is a cutting parody of life in the corporate sector. Through clowning and physical theatre, the four actors portray the mind-numbing drudgery of stocks, shares and portfolios. It’s a fantastic idea, and really well done, but perhaps needs something more to fill the hour.

This talented troupe will surely impress with their excellent physical comedy.

The show starts as it remains, with the quartet of suited bankers ever so slowly contorting their expressions from closed composure to downright horror and disgust. It takes minutes for them to snap out of it with a “So” from one. The others join in with a chorus of “So,” “OK,” “Right,” “Great.” The rhythm begins. Over the course of the hour we see the actors perform a series of bizarre routines; from a briefcase ballet to a manic paperwork drill. The office becomes a cacophony of successes and failures, each highlighted through their physicality, and the characters taking their turn to “zone out,” requiring an office mate to revive them with a snap or a clap. They are perfectly rehearsed and the movements are precise and effective. As clowns and physical theatre practitioners they are clearly very talented and the point of the piece becomes instantly apparent. The costumes are well thought out, a combination of the clown and corporate world.

What ultimately lets the performance down is the length. They either needed more ideas, or a shorted performance. I would have been happy with either. It felt about 30 minutes in that I have seen it all, and bar the “big reveal” at the end I had. Indeed, said reveal felt a little contrived and a little immature compared to the maturity and cleverness of the rest of the performance.

The piece clearly has a strong message, which is delivered clearly and with aplomb. This talented troupe will surely impress with their excellent physical comedy. Hopefully with some edits-up this will transcend from enjoyable to fantastic.  

Reviews by Millie Bayswater

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Performances

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The Blurb

A madcap frenzy of physical comedy with political bite. In this absurd office, avoiding the skeletons in the stationery cupboard is crucial. Rearrange the furniture, leap over the desks, then experiment with origami and orchestrate a four-part symphony using spreadsheet data. Witness these businesspeople crawl up the walls of their office in search of inspiration for their distraction. It's business... but not as usual. Silent Faces' debut production gives a darkly comic take on the chaotic world of high finance. 'Subtle, hilarious and ultimately shocking' ***** (Everything-Theatre.co.uk).

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