Weve all been there. The interminable office meeting, littered with small-talk, power-play and often inconsequential (any other) business. House of Windsor have deftly managed to capture the spirit of these meetings, but also invert them to incorporate a more surreal agenda.
The Meeting is a site-specific piece, taking place in a boardroom just off the Royal Mile. Though it is a Pleasance show, you meet in the Courtyard and get herded down to take your place ready for the afternoons proceedings. This encapsulates the Spirit of the Fringe, heading away from the standard venues to indulge in an immersive and unique experience.
Michael, possibly the Finance Manager, invites us in to take our seats, with pens and papers and agendas laid out for us all ready. Do take a boiled sweet, he says, in that recognisably patronising and faux-pleasant tone. A few of us obligingly do so before Trevor, who appears to be the Managing Director (or team leader or something similar) arrives and launches into the apologies; various people cant make it along, including Paul who has written a heartfelt letter about his reasons for leaving the company (including fraud), which is duly shared with us. A birthday card for a colleague and Jacquis condolence card are handed around for us to sign and so the meeting proper begins.
Gabriel, the IT Manager, is late due to a car accident, or, rather, a near car accident he over-emphasises for effect. Michael gives the finance report, concluding that the company is currently worth £7.53, though Trevor points out that the companys value doesnt equate to the amount in the petty cash box. Were then briefed on the Code of Conduct, updated on the office move, Gabriel informs us that a virus has out-foxed the networks security and gives inexplicable instructions as to remedying it.
The proceedings then become more surreal, as Michael presents his new business idea involving selling sleep, and the subsequent Any Other Business section involves some interesting sea-life facts, a poem and a song about Michaels mug which we are invited to clap along to.
This is fantastic stuff and an innovative departure from your standard comedy show. The Meeting expertly subverts the type of mind-numbingly dull, pedantic and frequently idiotic office meetings that weve all had and creates something uproariously funny, tapping into a universal nerve.
Joe Thomas, Johnny Sweet and Simon Bird are, throughout, entirely convincing and the fact that they managed to get through it without corpsing even once is testament to their skill and commitment as comic actors.
Get along there, read your agenda and take your seat. Though do it quick because, for once, this meeting is going to be popular.