Theatre Tripping

Featuring: People like us

Take your seats in good time for the performances, turn off your mobiles and don’t rustle toffee papers in the auditorium.

London Theatre

Beyond Caring at The National Theatre

National Theatre

Against a background of election fever, we made our way to 'The Nat' hoping to see something a little different.
We found ourselves on the shop floor of a sausage factory while three new cleaners, sent by their agency, were being interviewed by a loathsome supervisor Ian (Luke Clarke).
Each interviewee has different needs, Grace (Janet Etuk) no longer gets disability benefit so is forced to take any job however unsuitable. Susan (Kristin Hutchinson) needs cash and does her best to hide her desperate homeless status. Becky (Victoria Moseley) is a hard nosed, young woman who Ian constantly leers at but she is only interested in working hard but getting flexible hours to see her small child.

The workers are on zero hours contracts and are exploited by the beastly supervisor. It's like being trapped in a hellish environment, the strip lighting is harsh and the actors actually mop and clean for the whole performance.

During their short tea breaks they chat to the only employee Phil (Sean O' Callaghan), a sensitive, yet depressive soul who reads them passages from his Dick Francis book.

As a new sausage is launched, extra hours are required to clean production equipment which is wheeled onto stage, as the scrubbing tempo picks up so does the tension. The play reaches its peak with an unexpected finale, a good twist at the end of a great story and performance.