Ever feel like your office is one conga line short of a circus? One man wonder Scott Hollingsworth is a manager of a call centre, where his responsibilities are every bit as tedious as you could imagine. He organises training for new employees, nitpicks about KPI’s, adapts rosters to individual needs, and writes group activities out on butcher paper. What’s the best way to deal with mundane minutiae of the nine to five office drain? Why, write a circus cabaret about it, of course!
NIDA trained and Broadway performed Scott Hollingsworth has choreographed his was across every corner of the globe, but it’s in Melbourne’s The Butterfly Club that you will find Performance Management – In Cabaret. Brought to you by his very own company, Shhhhh! Productions, Performance Management is every bit as wonderfully camp and deliciously vulgar as you might expect.
Hollingsworth is the Ringmaster. The show opens with a re-scripted cover of Britney Spears’ “Circus”, as he welcomes you into what is sure to be a pop culture laden and disturbingly erotic splendour. The appealing thing about Performance Management is not just that it’s a cabaret, but more its relatable content. If you’ve ever pulled a sickie from work or stared longingly at the office clock, Performance Management will whet your appetite. With a blend of dramatic props, erratic lighting, and his own brand of lyricism, Scott Hollingsworth manages to light a fire under the proverbial telemarketer’s ass.
He’s not afraid to cross cultures either; you’ll find show tunes here from Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, The Legendary Miss Britney Spears, and of course (no cabaret would be complete without her) a little Dolly Parton. Hollingsworth is no simple cover artist, however; you’ll even find some original work here. You might not agree with everything the Ringmaster says, but its difficult not to get swept away by the beat of a cheerful little ditty entitled, “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”
It is indeed a one man show, but with Hollingsworth’s ability to dip in and out of character, you won’t know it. Character changes come as simply as donning wigs in some cases, other times in more complex dialects and accents. You will also meet Person L, a puppet who represents the everyman (if every man looked at porn at work). Hollingsworth makes no attempt at ventriloquy, but Person L comes to life anyway, as obnoxious and arrogant as any other call centre worker.
Performance Management is a great little show. Less than sixty minutes long, it’s choc full of punchy lyrics, sardonic deliveries and musical bravado. Scott Hollingsworth has an impressive voice, even if he doesn’t necessarily need it for this particular role. Cheeky, ostentatious and hilariously offensive.
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television