Edited Highlights of My Life is set in the sales office of makeover company 'Pam to Glam.' It’s Beth’s first day and manager Clint, from the London office, is overseeing sales for the week. With the office setting, writer Sally Lawton has a good basis for showcasing promising North West actors.
The plot is quite thin and comprises a series of recognisable circumstances and characters from across the office setting – although perhaps too recognisable, to the point of cliché. There’s an office romance, team work (and lack of it), a new girl, the bitch, the boss’s daughter, the barking manager, the cheeky chappy and the ambitious one.
Nothing is very deeply explored (Clint’s stress, Josh’s poor work performance) but in Beth (Sinead Peers) the audience sees more depth with more exploration of her personality. Peers successfully portrays Beth’s anxieties on her first day at work and her loneliness and insecurities are revealed gradually throughout the play.
The rest of the characters are one dimensional. That said, there are some funny lines and good comic performances from John Mulholland as try-hard team leader Owen and Paul Kenney as joker and top salesperson Jamie in particular.
As a showcase the piece is reasonably effective – although other than Peers there’s not room for actors to explore much range of emotion. As a play it’s not very effective because it’s quite hard to care about the majority of the characters and their stories.
- Laura Maley