Matters like hot-desking and pointless meetings can be draining for office workers. Managers, like Chicken, having other responsibilities, might not have so much fun either. We get to experience the trials of Chicken’s Day through Animal in the Office.
Sarah Nagorcka has drawn cartoons for news outlets such as Crikey and The Monthly. In this one-woman show directed by Elizabeth Davie (notably of The Yonder), we get to see her take on clowning. The audience had various opportunities to engage in office rituals, with Chicken as our guide.
The Meeting room at Trades Hall is subject to noise from nearby traffic, which drowned out some of Chicken’s quieter asides. When we could hear, we may feel that – like many office workers – Chicken would rather be doing something else with her life, despite her professed enthusiasm. A little more volume at times could help Nagorcka extract more pathos from her character.
Some parts of this supposed “surreal” work tale lived up to the promise, and others were more-silly. Some segments seemed to drift a bit, suggesting value in an audit of the work’s strengths. Certainly, some high-intensity bursts were quite amusing. Nagorcka also had comical responses to audience input, and any workplace review would note her physical commitment to duties.
The interplay of lighting and sound with costume touches gave useful glimpses into Chicken’s inner world in this diverting, odd-ball outing. Those looking for a genuine Fringe experience may consider shadowing this Animal in the Office.
Animal in the Office
Trades Hall – Meeting Room, Corner Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton
Performance: Thursday 13 October 2022 – 6.00pm
Season: 6 – 14 October 2022 (ended)
Image: Sarah Nagorcka in Animal in the Office (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte