Eating Jeff – Camden People’s Theatre, London

Writer: Guillaume Doussin

Director: Nora Lempriere and Montel Douglas

Nobody likes team-bonding exercises or mandatory company socials. At this megacorporation, four colleagues are forced to partake in a variety of trust exercises and hierarchy free games – all unpaid and overseen by those at the top, of course, because what says ‘fun’ more than a shared complimentary bottle of prosecco and a worksheet full of compulsory tasks?!

In Eating Jeff, absurdism meets activism in this wickedly dark storyline. Fed up with the rich getting richer while everyone else struggles to pay their bills and muddle through zero-hour contracts, No Table Productions are taking a stand and expressing their distaste to dystopia in this hour long production. Writer and actor Guillaume Doussin has crafted a well-layered script with a gruesomely great finale. The characters are all really well written, and their development throughout is well-paced to fully flesh out their roles within the fictional organisation. In the lead up to the finale, the script does start to lose the punchiness that it holds at the beginning, with some portions starting to get a bit repetitive and unnecessary. With a few edits and cuts – the flow would work better in maintaining the suspense and shock factor that is cleverly set up from the off.

The four actors in this production are fantastic – doing the script justice. Their on-stage chemistry works really well and the passion that they bring to the political speeches is impressive. Reggie (Alphonso Brown) is the union rep, encouraging his fellow employees to step and take a stand. Lexi (Florence Oliveira) is enthusiastic and unaware, with rose-tinted glasses, and an impulsive personality.

Silas (Guillaume Doussin) is the introverted IT guy, happy to stay distant, out of both trouble and social engagements. Hala (Melissa Wilson) is the hard-faced, successful, self-titled girl boss who’s helped the company grow profits and turn a blind eye to the unethical methods of doing so. Brown, Oliveira, Doussin seriously and Wilson hit every comedic cue perfectly, but also, nailing their lengthy, empowering speeches. They are all very talented, while also scarily having the potential to inspire you into quitting your own corporate hell!

While this graphicly gory production is probably not suited to vegans, it’s a brilliant outlet of working-class rage against conglomerate billionaires and profit-hungry, moral-evasive international companies. Although the overall message isn’t exactly to go out and literally ‘eat the rich’ and become corporate cannibals, the social commentary behind it is a spot on; A smart insight into the dark side of business and financial segregation in today’s society.

Runs until 22 March 2022


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