Fight For The Last Arts Job On Earth, Hunger Games Style
The Win Bin is a quirky and surprising new comedy which imagines a Hunger Games-style competition for the last arts job on earth.
Writing and directing duo Kate Kennedy and Sara Joyce invite us into the terrifying environment of a brutal 12-hour final assessment round where applicants’ every move is watched over by ‘the bench’. Between them Kennedy and her co-star Wilf Scolding play all six finalists effortlessly shifting between characters — an ambitious move.
The staging is abstract — completely whitewashed with a low platform in the centre, and the whole space covered in red and white dots. An attempt to imagine the intense, sterilised environment of the assessment room is only partly successful because although intermittent flashing spotlights make it visually striking, it’s cumbersome to act in. With little space to move about, sometimes both actors struggle with the physical awkwardness, not quite convincing us that it is real.
What they lack in physical confidence they more than make up for in their delivery of the pithy dialogue, effortlessly switching between characters. The applicants themselves are a motley crew of desperate overachievers, fiercely competitive to the point of insanity and completely deranged under the mounting pressure. Both Kennedy and Scolding excel at small changes in their body language and accents to convey different emotions so that each character is physically recognisable after a while.
The horrendous assessment is overseen by a giggling band of unseen assessors, cruelly taunting their victims who have no access to food or fresh air. The play pertinently examines the current funding situation in the arts, poking fun at the impossible need to be original and the reality of often having to work for little or no money.
Kennedy never loses sight of the comedy however, exploring the issues through the hilarious antics of her characters… just how far will they go to get this job?
The Win Bin is on at Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, EC1V 4NJ, until 26 September. Tickets £15 (concessions £12), matinees £12 (concessions £10). Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.
Last Updated 04 September 2015