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Assembly George Square Studios


Appraisal is a one-act play for two actors, written by and featuring Tim Marriott as Joe, the CEO of a company, and Angela Ball as Nicky, a departmental team leader. Nicky has been summoned by Joe for a ‘follow-up’ to the annual appraisal that she has already had with her line manager – an unusual process that Nicky is clearly unhappy about. She probes Joe about it, but he attempts to deflect her with exhortations of what a wonderful job she has been doing and how they should be open and honest with each other, all the time covering these with a tight smile that one may read as less than genuine. It transpires that Joe wants to move Nicky to a new role as Team leader of Outreach, a currently non-existent department; Nicky wants to continue in her current role and suspects his motives, especially when he expresses a kindly attitude towards Nicky’s dozy, unmotivated temp, of whom she has complained. One quickly comes to the realisation that there are hidden agendas at play here.

Slowly but surely, the layers are peeled away as various behaviours and peccadillos are revealed. The play soon takes on the style of a thriller as we await the next revelation from each of the protagonists – a ‘Sleuth’ of office politics, as it were. The action see-saws along as it seems that one is getting the upper hand, only for the pendulum to swing the other way, building to an unexpected twist.

On the face of it, a play revolving around the annual assessment procedure for the office staff of a modern-day company may not seem the most obvious and promising dramatic subject, but this is absolutely gripping and occasionally very funny and contains two wonderful performances from the actors.

Appraisal is on at Assembly George Square Studios until August 28th

Tickets available here

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