When preparing a comedy sketch show endorsed by Footlights, you want to choose as exciting and interesting a setting as possible, and what could possibly be more exciting than the HR department? In fact, this is the very reason the cast chose this backdrop for Human Resources, as the mundane and boring atmosphere allowed them to let their creative juices flow and their imagination run wild. The cast felt that this setting was the direct antithesis of their ideal work environment, which allowed them to have fun with their ideas and personas. The dynamic between the characters led the setting to be much less mundane than first expected, and features novel and entertaining skits such as Mary Poppins At Baggage Control and Sextuplets Birth.

"The mundane and boring atmosphere allowed them to let their creative juices flow and their imagination run wild"

The collaboration of the diverse cast allowed the sketches in Human Resources to develop naturally; when I talked to the cast, they said it feels like the sketches evolve by the week. The size of the cast itself allowed the show to create a more realistic dynamic and interplay between the individual characters, which is helped by the larger venue and use of set design. The excitement for the big stage, the added incentive of a Footlights endorsement, and the sheer amount of time the cast members have been working on this show, looks set to give the final performance a very polished feel.

The set design for this production, something which is not ordinarily seen for a show of this type, is designed to add a sense of realism and believability to this fabricated scenario; with it, the cast have more scope to be inventive and creative in the ideas and concepts that make it to stage. The individual characters and their interactions and dynamics with others have been carefully thought out so that they feel as natural as possible, which helps to make the scenario all the more believable, and the sketches all the more funny.


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The cast treated me to their sketch, “Lost Wise Men” as an example of what to expect from the show. It sees the Wise Men on their travel to Bethlehem, but, unable to work out which star to follow, they encounter some ridiculous and hilarious scenarios along the way. This scene played on the rehashing of a biblical tale in modern times, which made for some very funny moments, and definitely some scenarios that everyone in the audience can relate to on some level. It wasn’t difficult to spot that the cast felt very comfortable with each other and with the script as they went through the sketch, making the jokes and narrative feel very fluid and natural. Behind the wackiness and the humour, though, there is a serious humanist message; as Will Owen put it, “We’re putting the human into human resources”.

If you simply can’t wait until show night to experience the inner workings of the HR department, Human Resources are holding an informal office party in St. Catherine’s college bar on Monday 20th January at 8pm, which is an amazing opportunity to get a first-hand look at the characters before the main event. The combination of each cast member’s unique comedic approach, the narrative of the office department, and the overall original style all make for a very promising and exciting show.

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