Home » London Theatre Reviews » Just A Minute at Omnibus Theatre | Review

Just A Minute at Omnibus Theatre | Review

Shows about life in the workplace are nothing new – take, for instance, the Frank Loesser musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which is about exactly what the title says it’s about, or the play The Lehman Trilogy, about Lehman Brothers, a business that lasted 163 years, going bankrupt in a collapse that triggered an international financial crisis in 2008. Here, a sharply suited intern (Conor Murray) does the daily commute – no hybrid working for this guy – in what is very much a non-progressive workplace, at least from the intern’s perspective.

Conor Murray in Just A Minute.
Conor Murray in Just A Minute.

His Irish roots lead him to assert, for instance, that the Greenwich meridian is a line originally drawn by the British Empire (or, more specifically, its representatives), and its continued existence and prominence in geographical circles isn’t entirely justified. He builds his arguments rather more convincingly than your reviewer – a rather more salient point being that he has developed them in the first place as a result of an internship at the National Maritime Museum.

On a stage somewhat cluttered with archive boxes – there’s even a ladder to help reach the top ones – and without giving too much away, our young man is a little nervous. He has a performance review coming up, which will determine whether he will be offered a permanent position at the museum. The audience is introduced to various office characters in a briskly paced, energetic and detailed performance from Murray, whose delightfully engaging stage presence extends to making photocopies a charming chore.

It’s not as if the intern’s place at the National Maritime Museum is undeserved – he has had a fascination with time since childhood, and in young adulthood appears to know instinctively how long a London Underground train should take between various stations on his journey to work. Recollections of miscellaneous previously embarrassing moments during his internship are a rich source of humour, though the play also makes some thoughtful points about whether putting in extra (unpaid and unacknowledged) effort at work is ultimately worth it.

The narrative treads a well-worn path about how there’s more to life than going to and from the workplace each weekday, but it’s difficult not to root for the intern as he pushes back against outmoded corporate norms that frown on, well, being human.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

This is a riotous new comedy written and performed by Conor Murray and directed by Emma Finegan.

Meet the intern. Alienated, delusional, and with a monumental crush on the straight boy in the office, our intern is the ultimate corporate flop. Join him for one life-changing day as he attempts to suppress his queerness and rise through the ranks at the Greenwich Maritime Museum.

JUST A MINUTE
Omnibus Theatre
8 and 9 June 2024
https://www.omnibus-clapham.org/

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