Brains Review

Theatre N16 11 – 14 January.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

There seem to be zombies everywhere you turn nowadays, so creating a new comedy with fresh ideas is an ambitious project. Thick & Thin Theatre’s Brains takes a corporate look at a zombie epidemic, with the characters all working for MediBite Inc. in the not too distant future, where the sale of drugs combatting the disease means business is booming. When a possible cure is discovered, tests are rushed through, but nobody has told the new intern that tweeting this news is a bad idea…

Brains is packed full of stereotypes, but in a 45-minute production with no time to establish character, that is perfectly understandable. There’s the coke snorting boss, Harry – a foul mouthed bully who doesn’t actually have a clue what he’s doing, who saves his finest insults for accountant Jeff, ball-busting CEO Ursula, science nerd Stuart, new salesman Rosie and Harry’s niece Tina – a reluctant and stroppy intern.

Jack Dent is wince -inducing (in a good way!) as the hapless Jeff – think David Brent without the confidence. Aidan Parsons as Aidan and Stephanie Overington as Ursula throw themselves into their vile characters with abandon, and Parsons manages to make you almost feel sorry for Aidan as events slip out of control.

New girl Rosie causes excitement and Jeff and Stuart attempt to woo her with spectacularly inept techniques before deciding that she must be a lesbian – all very Big Bang Theory UK, but still some funny lines. The corporate shenanigans about supply and demand, and the morality of drug companies is slightly less effective, beginning like a budget version of Utopia, but running out of steam and coming to a dead end – literally. Cameron Szerdy’s script has some cracking jokes, but Brains could do with a longer running time and plot development to produce a truly satisfying play.