Brighton FringeReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Blue Sky Thinking – Sweet Dukebox

Creators: Pop Heart Productions   

Reviewer: Simon Topping

The venue is decorated in post-it notes, with anti-slogan business-speak like: Orange is NOT the new black and Business-Fart. Among the notes on stage are a single office desk and a couple of chairs. As the show begins we meet Penny, a writer of plays and a creative whirlwind, forced to apply for a desk job to help pay the bills.

Penny (played well by Chelsea Newton Mountney) is put through a tense interview where she does not understand most of the business jargon her interviewer is talking about; making asides to the audience exclaiming her inner thoughts. However, she bluffs it out and is hired.

As the play continues we see her slowly slide away from her artistic routes to become assimilated into a corporate world where ruthlessness and career climbing are highly rewarded. As Penny embraces her new sense of power we see the despair this brings of her devoted, yet financially challenged, boyfriend.

The show is best when the lead interacts with her incompetent manager as he splurges out nonsense to hide his ineffectuality, or in the chats she has with her fantasist wworkmateBill, who recounts tall tales of being a roadie for Oasis or drinking the twelve pubs of Christmas (a festive boozy ritual) with Jude Law.

There is a fabulous scene where Penny’s boss has created a Star Wars themed role review with the acronym JEDI, using examples of what Darth Vader would say in his job appraisal. Sadly Penny has never seen the films, which renders the process hilariously void.

Blue Sky Thinking, is a good piece, with a good array of acting, often funny with a cautionary ending.

Running until 27 May 2018

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