The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Review: Ideation

by librarykris on July 1, 2019 in Theatre

A team of ‘management consultants’ are recalled from their project overseas in order to work on an urgent proposal. The question in front of them – if there was a deadly virus that killed the carrier and easily infected others, how would you contain it without alarming the community? As they start to work through their ideas they begin to wonder – is this only a precautionary exercise or are they designing a genocide machine?  

The set (designed by Jennifer O’Sullivan) is a cheerful Instagram-worthy office with ubiquitous grey striped carpet tiles, colourful fidget toys, a bright red beanbag, office plants, rainbow animal prints, a whiteboard, a bar height table surrounded by tall chairs, some board games on shelves, and a water cooler. Intern Scooter (Slaine McKenzie) wanders into the office as the audiences files into the theatre. He doesn’t do much – takes some selfies, moves some things around. His manager Hannah (Lisette Prende) follows him in and immediately tells him off for not organising the meeting space properly. Her other three team members burst into the office chatting about their flight. Brock (James Bayliss) takes an immediate dislike to Scooter, there’s a play for dominance…bye bye Scoots. Ted (Paul Kay) wants to get on with the project so he can get to his daughter’s soccer game. Sandeep (Jett Ranchhod) has some reservations but as a team player he’s willing to go along with the discussion – until he’s not. Director Devon Nuku makes good use of the stage moving his actors in balance. I enjoyed their quick fire line delivery and what looks like genuine team spirit. Nuku describes them as “building a world that is horrifying in its banal normality”. The result is a very funny black comedy ably acted by a strong ensemble cast which should prompt us to look at our own ethics in the workplace. 

Content note: contains discussion of genocide

  • Ideation on at BATS Theatre to 6 July 2019

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