Emilia Di Luca
I walk into the theatre. A woman asks for my name, gives me a nametag and says, “Training starts at 9 p.m.” Curiously, I open the show’s program and read: “YOU’RE HIRED.”
The Poorhouse Player’s Fringe show How May I Hate You?, is a hilarious crash course on how to be the model employee in the customer service industry. In this parody, you are treated as a new employee in a mass training session, led by your cocky (and apparently criminally charged) boss, played by Connor Wooldridge. With cheeky examples, he teaches you dos and don’ts of sexual harassment, affirmative action interviews and the golden rule—the customer is always right.
To parody these principles, the play reveals the lives of Stella (Kelsey Johnston), Marcus (Kano Wilkinson) and Jacqueline (Jenna Naulls). These new grads work at vaguely familiar businesses — like the telecommunications company, “Hell.”
The show is relevant and even a little raunchy, but most importantly it’s relatable. With references to York University’s “This is my time” campaign, Barrack Obama and Kim Jong-un, the cast crafts jokes that speak to today’s culture and job market.
While there is room for tightening up (the set dressing and costumes seemed disheveled at times), The Poorhouse Players proved they are rich with creativity. The ensemble delivered a loveable show that entertains anyone who has ever held a job where “the customer is always right.”
The Poorhouse Players’ How May I Hate You? runs at the Robert Gill Theatre until July 12 as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. For more information visit http://fringetoronto.com.