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Asking for a Raise at The Space Theatre

It was a packed house on Wednesday for the performance of the fast and funny ‘Asking for a Raise’. SEEN felt that an office scenario was a canny choice for devisers and directors Hugo Aguirre and Franciska Éry. Surely it has replaced the factory floor as a setting for discontent, dull repetitious tasks and fear in the face of authority? There was more than a hint of Beckettian despair in the frenetic set-pieces, that saw the talented cast embody workers, bosses, and tap-dancers as they desperately sought self-worth in the form of extra money.

The audience was appreciative; wincing as they laughed. The dialogue is razor-sharp. Which of us hasn’t thought of ways to butter up the people in the food-chain above us in the hope of gaining an audience with the boss? And how do we nerve oureslves to ask for more money, even when we know we’re worth it? SEEN feels that a play set in America wouldn’t have this issue.

The production was as slick as it needed to be for such a rapid-paced piece. The music by Líam Murphy was particularly good. Light boxes delineated workspaces and stood in for guns. After a while, you forgot you were in a theatre – it was as if you were trapped in the collective subconscious of office workers. This effect was aided and abetted by the mercurial beauty of the Space as a venue. Despite its small size, theatre companies are able to make use of its interior in novel and exciting ways. Certainly SEEN felt a little disorientated, which only contributed to the verisimilitude of the play. Catch it while you can – it’s on until the 7th July.

Photo Credit: LivLeopard Photography

www.space.org.uk

The Space Theatre
269 Westferry Road
Isle of Dogs
London
E14 3RS