Chris Green & Ursula Martinez, Office Party

Review in Issue 20-4 | Winter 2008

The genius of this dirty, ironic bit of theatre is that it turns the spectators into the spectacle.

Arriving as if to an office party, you are given name badges and whisked off for a humorous departmental meeting, with booze, and you get to know the other audience members a bit. Then the party starts, which is a mixture of booze-fuelled departmental quizzes and gluttony contests. When we are asked if anyone would like to get their kit off, four naked men rush to the stage, cavort; one leans over and parts his buttocks. They must be plants. We look at everyone suspiciously – are they a performer? Someone vomits. He’s an actor, right?

Cabaret acts intersperse the party, some better integrated than others. Ursula Martinez leads the audience in an appropriate chorus of ‘I hear you wank on a mirror’ (to the tune of Latin classic ‘Guantanamera’). And a head of department performs a savagely aggressive and drunken ‘I’m gonna get myself sacked and go out with a bang’ pole-dance – for once, some of this burlesque has a story to tell. Less so with Tina C or an aerialist who leaps into action for no apparent reason.

The name badges come in handy. I dance with Sarah. She falls over. People dance with sexual exhibitionism, randified by the burlesque performances. An attractive couple pose romantically in a spotlight. How pretentious! I dance with Martin in a corduroy jacket. He tries to knee me in the groin as we dance. Paula is hiding behind a pillar from her husband. It’s Martin. ‘You’re such a good performer,’ she whimpers. ‘You’re so realistic’.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-4
p. 33