The Win Bin at the Old Red Lion
An entire generation lives under the pressure of the “employability” concept, a phenomenon demanding the same set of specific qualities from the most varied range of individuals. Attempting to fit a mould is especially problematic for artists, as the very nature of the job-hunting process is at odds with the unpredictability of creative trades. The Win Bin explores the ridiculous heights that even the most talented people find themselves reaching for in order to secure a job. Created by Kate Kennedy and Sara Joyce, the performance is characterised by dark irony and sharp, fast-flowing humour.
The play begins with an awkward job interview where the nervous candidate is so aware of the gap between what she ought to say and who she really is, that she ends up twisting the truth and second-guessing every answer. Upon hearing that there are six candidates being considered, a reality show type of scenario begins to unfold on stage. The potential employees are battling for the last paid job in the arts, and their every move is monitored over the course of a 12-hour assessment day.
Wilf Scolding and Kennedy herself play three characters each, swiftly switching personalities and professions. The journey to employment is seen as a survival-of-the-fittest quest where the final goal becomes an obsession that obliterates all sense of reason and logic. The characters are stuck in a plain, almost clinical room, polka-dotted in the style of Yayoi Kusama. In the soulless space, their fears and insecurities are magnified. Kennedy is wonderful in her shifts between quiet self-consciousness and aggressive determination, and Scolding is a great match for her dynamic performance.
Highly entertaining and absorbing, the play sends out a powerful message about the faults in the mercenary process of marketing one’s qualities as money-making tools. When the candidates begin to measure their worth against an arbitrary interview score, they gradually annul their personalities and morph into the imagined model of the perfect employee. For the sake of recognition and a paltry wage, they allow the system to hijack their sense of self in a raw and, at times, brutal manner, bordering on the Kafkaesque. The Win Bin speaks for a large and ever growing number of people struggling to find expression in the inflexible employment game.
The Win Bin is on at Old Red Lion Theatre from 1st September until 26th September 2015, for further information or to book visit here.