THE DEPARTMENT OF DISTRACTIONS, STUDIO
The premise behind Third Angel’s latest production is both fantastic and scarily believable. The Department of Distractions is a clandestine organisation dedicated to diverting the public’s attention from serious issues by circulating frivolous stories.
In the Department office the arrival of a new recruit prompts her three colleagues to list the kind of things they get up to, Some are amusing or topical – globetrotting garden gnomes, online surveys into fruit preferences, vegan sausage rolls – others have an agenda. It was the Department who encouraged people to circulate photos of the food they were eating allowing them to forget the starving millions,
It’s all quite fascinating but as a piece of drama you wonder where it is going until we get to the point where the team review one of their ongoing projects by re-enacting the case of a missing radio station presenter.
Here is where the description of it being a detective story begins to make sense as the play within a play reveals plenty of laughs, a plot twist and a sinister sting in the tail.
The performances are all convincing from Nick Chambers as the enigmatic supervisor, Rachael Walton as his stern assistant, Umar Butt milking the comedy in the bumbling Paladin and Stacey Simpson as the wide-eyed Daphne, who proves a surprisingly rapid learner. Ian Soutar