Present and Correct: Now Recruiting - Free

This young and energetic company have tried to create a sketch show with a storyline. When done well (and I have seen quite a few done so this Fringe) these narratives add a depth to the piece that makes the entire performance run more smoothly, enhancing each sketch. In this case however they haven’t quite got the line right: for all intents and purposes, they have written a comedic play without any character development. This unfortunate flaw rather tarnishes the piece and lies at the root of all of the problems for a group that definitely have potential.

The point of a sketch show is to dip in and out, keeping each situation fresh and inventive, building to a joke at the end; this became just a series of scenes with the occasional left-field introduction of characters for one appearance.

Present and Correct centre the storyline on a company called Penderson Brothers Office Supplies who are the classic capitalist evil company taking over the world. Taking on an Orwellian sensibility we are introduced to Natalie, a graduate taking on her first job and Whiskers the Cat who leads a “sharing” revolution. It starts well with some good jokes and sketches as we follow these two characters on their own journey inside and against Penderson brothers. However, this narrative becomes the show’s downfall - it becomes too focused on a storyline which does not give a lot of scope for inventive sketches. The point of a sketch show is to dip in and out, keeping each situation fresh and inventive, building to a joke at the end; this became just a series of scenes with the occasional left-field introduction of characters for one appearance.

It is well written and there are some good jokes in there: it just needs to be looked at again. I particularly enjoyed the overly pompous lift attendants who tried to give each person that entered the “full experience” and Whiskers the Cat was brilliant.

All in all, it was not a bad show but it’s never going to be phenomenal because of the mistake at its inception. I would love to see them interrogate this more and make a decision between either a sketch comedy or a piece of farcical theatre because at the moment it is falling in a crack in the middle. But I trust this company to see their mistake and go back and revisit the piece.

Reviews by Christopher Spring

CC Blooms

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Present and Correct want to recruit you! Nurture you! Synergise you! Consume you! Welcome to Penderson Brothers' Office Supplies, a company that has redefined evil. Explore the twisted world of Head Office, complete with parasitic infestation, ritual sacrifice and puppets. Only whatever you do, avoid the lifts! P&C return to the Fringe this financial year with a brand new satirically silly sketch show that will fill your laughter spreadsheets and maximise your mirth margins. ‘Cutting edge’ (York Vision). ‘A great success’ (TheYorker.co.uk). ‘Clever and funny ... brilliant moments of silliness’ (ThreeWeeks).

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