Desk Job/Night Duty
GRV, Edinburgh, Sun 15–Wed 18 Feb
The quest to find a venue on the same scale as the Arches, bringing exciting experimental small- and medium- scale work to Edinburgh, has now spawned the GRV, which now has a small performance space to complement the existing gig and club spaces. Its first theatrical double bill looks an intriguing venture.
Artistic director Andy Corelli of Siege Perilous directs Desk Job, by Paul Bishop (pictured). ‘It’s about 9 to 5 office hierarchies,’ he says. ‘The manager in the piece does nothing but think about how to get the better of his employee.’ Corelli’s approach involves using six actors to alternate between the two characters, giving shifting perspectives on age and gender amidst the constant abuse of power.
The second piece, Mark Russell’s Night Duty is a political satire with a ‘wise fool’ premise, in which the inmates of a psychiatric ward comment on world affairs, assuming some alarmingly familiar roles, including George W Bush. ‘It’s one of those pieces where you wonder who are the mad, is it the people inside the ward or outside,’ says director Helen Marie O’Malley. ‘Each character plays two people, so we’re left wondering where the transitions occur. At one point someone says, “If you drop a single piece of rice no one will hear it, but if you drop a thousand pieces of rice, it might make a difference.” There are a lot of things like that where you begin to realise, that we might have become too comfortable amidst some terrible political events.’