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The Independent Culture
Lust, greed, murder... drama deals with burning issues. Lisa Kotin has added a few more to the list. Important questions like "What the lone Jew can do to amuse herself when forced to man the office during the Christmas party"; or "How to make personal calls from work without getting caught"; not to mention "How to photocopy your most intimate body parts".

Aside from Michael Frayn's Alphabetical Order, Meredith Oakes' The Editing Process and Julius Caesar, there have been few plays about office politics. Temporary Girl fills the gap with Kotin playing an entire office hierarchy.

"There's Jill Hardwood, the corporate head. A nightmare. Betty is the office manager and cheerleader - everything is really `Up, up, up!' Pearl is the ancient secretary who chainsmokes and curses all the time and who has been there since the days of one desk, one phone and a typewriter, and then there's Jeannette who's kinda based on me. She's the quirky temp, has had a boyfriend for 11 years - `its temporary' - and wants to be an actress."

Judging by the ecstatic reviews, Kotin's temping days are well and truly over. The show has been a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, with audiences sniffing out more than a whiff of reality from Kotin's hilarious expos. "It's not stand-up and it's definitely not performance art. My taste is pretty lowbrow and slapsticky." Think Carol Burnett. Or as one smart reviewer put it, "the new-wave Lucille Ball".

`Temporary Girl' is at the Cockpit Theatre from Monday (071-402 5081)

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