Baird will make you laugh, force you to think and shock you unexpectedly
As with all performance art, what an audience takes away will be subjective; resonating different emotional chords in its individual interpretations. As an overview, it explores just what work constitutes in today’s culture, poking a politically-driven satirical finger at class differences in the workplace. Leading us through first-hand accounts of everything from microwaving mashed potatoes at Wetherspoons to fetish-work on a webcam, the production has a refreshing honesty. At the end of the day, a job exists to earn money, but with it comes a unique set of conditions: camaraderie, loyalty – even danger, depending on the role. Quite how these conditions influence us will inevitably be a significant consequence of employment in a capitalist society, and during the piece I was forced to challenge quite how integral employment affects other (apparently unrelated) social values at the same time.
It is a great skill to be able to hold an audience single-handedly, and Baird succeeds beyond expectation. Using a variety of art forms to make her point, the Summerhall venue quickly becomes a safe space for open dialogue about the subjects mentioned. You even get fed.
Going above and beyond what is traditionally considered taboo in modern society, Baird will make you laugh, force you to think and shock you unexpectedly. And if this performance is anything to go by, we may well have found Katy Baird’s next employment sector: the arts. Thank goodness it isn’t food hygiene