Have You Seen the New Girl in HR?Office romance: it can be brutal, pathetic, funny, deeply unfair and ultimately, in the hands of Blue Chair Theatre, very entertaining. Have you seen the new girl in HR?, from writer/ director Allan Kerr and producer Kylie Trask, takes all the well-worn stereo-types, mixes in some very Australian humour and delivers up a comedic concoction that is just the thing for a cold Autumn night out.

Liam (Hamilton Moore) is single and just desperate enough to be slightly creepy. But he’s also the quintessential good guy; hard working, intelligent and good to his friend Emma (Errin Hewlett) and his colleagues, the warm and fluffy Shari (Cassia Webster) and the egregious Harvey (Phillip McKechnie). The action kicks off when a particularly cheesy pickup line he tries on an attractive stranger in a tram comes back to haunt him when she turns out to be the new girl in HR.

Sonia (Maylise Dent) just wants to settle into her new job, although that proves a little difficult when she finds that not only is the strange man who tried to hit on her in the tram the chief engineer, he is also seemingly embroiled in an internet pornography scandal and a fling with the brittle, power-suited office manager Fiona (Rebecca Doran). It doesn’t help that her main source of information is BronWYN (Sarah Lockwood), the roving office psychopath. Will love conquer all or will everyone just get fed up and resign?

Allan Kerr has thrown a bit of everything into his script, from the standard rom-com conventions to some gloomy philosophical discussion on the nature of modern romance, from gentle satire to a couple of decidedly off-colour jokes. The result is a touch uneven but he has gathered a good cast who throw themselves into the performance and it somehow all works itself out.

Hamilton Moore and Maylise Dent are good in the lead roles and have a nice chemistry. Rebecca Dorn and Phillip McKechnie effectively play villains who are recognisable specimens of office culture pond-scum and Sarah Lockwood as the hideously needy, havoc-wreaking BronWYN is a gem.

There’s nothing terribly original about Have you seen the new girl in HR? but it is rather clever, a little thoughtful and a lot of fun. Why not check it out?

Blue Chair Theatre proudly present
Have You Seen the New Girl in HR?
By Allan Kerr

Venue: Mechanic's Institute Performing Arts Centre | Cnr Sydney and Glenlyon Rds, Brunswick
Dates: May 2 - 12
Time: Wed - Sat @ 8pm
Tickets: $10/20
Bookings: 9859 2816
Website: www.bluechairtheatre.com

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