In the very intimate lounge of the Leicester Square Theatre, there is a new comedy in town. Human:Resources is an offering from director and writer David J. Collyer which explores four major themes: love, work, jobs and sex.
Through a series of four characters performing interlocking monologues, the show highlights several themes. Emily (Genna Foden), who works for the large energy company PDL, tells us about her first boyfriend, a writer, and her need to find her place in the world, be it by joining a fight club (which it turns out “isn’t really a thing”) or by settling down. She finds herself in the midst of a selfish relationship with boss Joel, played by Irwin Sparkes, who is best known for fronting British band The Hoosiers. Sparkes gives us a smarmy, impish character that seems to be having a mid-life crisis, and goes through a string of girlfriends to make him feel young again.
Meanwhile in a separate workplace, characters Alec and Tally are drawn together due to Alec’s (Daniel Curshen) desire to write poetry inspired by a girlfriend, which in reality is not quite the romantic gesture it seems. Tally (Bernice Pike) is a 23-year-old, naïve waitress on the hunt for an older man who, according to Japanese culture, would be a perfect match. The two find themselves thrown together, but due to restrictions on dating colleagues, one has to go in search of a new job: cue all four lives intertwining in a series of events.
The play is full of witty one-liners and each monologue is delivered with some great comic timing; Sparkes in particular delivers some rather sexist comments, which knock the audience into nervous laughter, but Foden too has some hilarious moments in the quest to find her niche.
With extremely minimal props and lighting, designer Ev Sekkides heaps the focus onto the well-delivered monologues; although maybe it is because of the intense, small space that the production changes are barely noticeable.
This is David Collyer’s second play after Modern Love and once again he has managed to produce some great (if slightly eccentric) characters and a script that is witty, although sometimes feels a little bit slow. However it is soon brought back to speed with a new scene or dynamic change, and overall the small company of four manage to deliver the material with great conviction, which helps in making it all the more funny. If you fancy a bit of a giggle with hints of sex and romance, this 90-minute play could be the one for you.
Human: Resources is playing at the Leicester Square Theatre Lounge until 30 June. For more information and tickets, see The Leicester Square Theatre website.