By Jen McGregor
Two desperate young women try to make themselves into perfect job interview candidates in this quirky, highly entertaining immersive play. Creators and performers Holly Bodmer and Dot Howard, collectively known as Odd Comic, do a great job of capturing and ridiculing the atmosphere of the interview – the second-guessing, the waiting room tensions, the physical manifestations of nerves.
It’s sometimes a little too easy to spot the influence of works like The Office on the cringe-inducing humour of this play, and perhaps a couple of the jokes go on a bit too long, but these are minor concerns. It’s also not always clear whether audience members are being cast in the role of fellow candidate or interviewer, but the performances are sufficiently assured and charming that they compensate for this.
Would Be Nice Though is a masterclass in how to do immersive theatre. The audience is involved throughout. Bodmer and Howard are not thrown by spontaneous interaction – in fact they appear to welcome it, responding wittily to all situations and never letting their characters slip. The show takes place in a working office, and it’s difficult to tell where the set dressing ends and the real office begins. These two characters are certainly the type whom you could imagine putting up signs saying “Clear up after yourself, Serenity Sue can’t do everything”, so those could be part of the show just like the mugs that are used to guess at the characters of the existing workers… but it’s equally possible that the signs are real. These little details make the world of the play really believable, and that’s what makes this so powerfully funny.
This is a show that’s well worth booking for, since spaces are strictly limited, and hopefully we’ll see more from these ladies in future – just as well executed and even more original. To sum up in a show-appropriate manner:
Dear Odd Comic,
Thank you for bringing your show to the Edinburgh Fringe. Due to an overwhelming volume of performances of a high standard, it has not been possible to offer you five stars on this occasion. However, please do not let this put you off returning for future Fringes, where you may well meet with greater success.
Best wishes with your future endeavours.