Godfrey, VAULT Festival

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by Amber Pathak

Where can you go when you’re stuck in a dead end job? What do you do when you feel all hope is lost? Why is my boss an asshole? Current, meaningful and true to life, Godfrey will answer these questions and make you feel just about everything possible.

 Each of the characters is an embodiment of minimum wage workplace staff (sorry, “team members”). Simone – astrologically persuaded and way too lively at 9.00am. Jason –  doing far too much work for so little pay. Carys – present only to do the job and determined to make as little small talk as possible. And Godfrey – the big boss who seems to own half of London and swaggers in as and when he pleases.  As the former three’s stories unfold and lives entwine, we see they have a lot more in common than their job title.

This naturalistic play is broken into scenes, with static noise and the day presented as a  white-on-black projection on the back wall during transitions. This adds an eerie feeling to the more frequent funny moments, though exacerbates moments where tensions are high. It’s a smart move; those more dramatic bits would feel out of place otherwise.

The relationship building between Carys and Simone is beautifully performed by Harriet Leitch and Lauren LaRocque, with the latter’s “Pussy is power” monologue evoking a strong emotional response. Both were part of the show in 2018 – it’s clear they have great chemistry and work well together on stage.

The costume worn by the titular character is near perfect in embodying all that is hated about gentrification, from the pink-tinted teashade glasses, down to the socks and vegan leather sandals. The only issue is with the uniform worn by everyone else. Though it is set in an up-scale restaurant, the costume feels chicken shop-esque (unless this is what uniforms at bougie restaurants are like).

Godfrey runs through 23 February.

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