Unfortunately, impressive as it is, the Cottons Centre atrium is not a stage. When the play begins, the actors' words are swallowed by a giant echo: it is like being in a swimming baths. Gregg Ward's Boardroom Shuffle is set in the near-future: Peter Blake, the chief executive of SET, first reveals his new omniscient computer Prophet, and then the fact that he is leaving at the end of the week to join the UN. There follows a contest as to who will succeed him. It is all very silly stuff (though played with deadly earnestness), with a weak central premiss and an unlikeable central character (played by Jeremy Spriggs).
The piece is saved by a certain curiosity as to what daftness is going to emerge next and by some competent performances, most notably Keith Bayliss as the brown-suited Head of Finance and John Deery as the thrusting yuppie Head of Sales and Marketing.
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