Soho Theatre on a Friday night would have usually been thriving with Theatre goers and tourists milling about outside. Instead, I watched their latest online production broadcast via the zoom platform The Boss of it All starring the extremely talented comedian and actress Josie Lawrence from the comfort of my own home. While the actors were in the comfort of theirs.
The Boss of it All has been based on the 2006 film of the same title by Lars Von Trier. Writer/director Jack McNamara’s clever play ridicules those who believe they are in charge while failing miserably and manipulating others in an attempt to cover up their own failings and inability to manage anything.
The zoom production watches Josie Lawrence as the actress Kristina who has been hired to pretend to be the new boss of a group of managers. She bumbles her way through the appraisals where we see each of them attempting to make it up as they go along. It was lost on me what any of them would actually be capable of managing.
Ross Armstrong as the questionable manager Ravn turns out to have been masquerading as one of the team for years to avoid being in charge. He appears at times to be incompetent yet the way in which he has set up Lawrence’s character to oversee the unwelcome measures he is imposing are cold and calculated firmly placing himself in charge. Definitely not someone anyone would trust and you can’t help but question what he has actually done in all this time while working for the company.
It took me a while to be accepted into the production which left me wondering if this was part of the performance. During the streaming, at times the screen went blank which I guessed was all part and parcel of the atmospheric setup. Instead of being frustrated by the technology failure it just added to my enjoyment. Art imitating life sprang to mind.
The convenience of online Theatre has a lot of plus sides to it yet in all honesty as a reviewer I miss the adrenaline rush of watching live Theatre. However, this particular production has been brilliantly directed and works perfectly in the popular zoom meeting format. Allowing the audience to suspend their disbelief in order to imagine that all the managers were located around the globe. Aimlessly appearing to be managing absolutely nothing at all.
Sadly this online show has an extremely short window and I am hoping they make it available to watch after the run is over. As each night the show hosts a new guest appearance, Friday’s performance was the cabaret artist Le Gateau Chocolat. As it stars the queen of improv Josie Lawrence I can not imagine that each night will follow exactly the same script.
For more information on this production and other things being shown at the Soho Theatre check out the link below.