Reviewed by: Theatre Travels
Review by Tatum Stafford | 06 March 2024
After a smash sell-out season in 2023, Wankernomics is back and more strategic than ever in their new show, ‘As Per My Last Email’. Performers James Schloeffel and Charles Firth are Wankernomics’ Chief Disruptor/Strategy Optimisation Evangelist and Customer Engagement Jedi respectively. The pair bounded onto the stage, coffee cups in hand, ready to walk the audience through an hour-long strategy workshop (no, really). After a hilariously blue-sky video introducing us to the duo and their ridiculously conceptual job titles, we were thrown into module after module, with highlights including ‘Intro to LinkedIn’ (I didn’t expect to see Jesus’ LinkedIn profile in a show spoofing wanky corporate culture but it was stupidly funny), ‘how to make small talk’, and ‘starting a business’. An approachable bit of audience interaction was sprinkled throughout, where we learnt who had the most useless job in the audience with a classic ‘sit down if you help people, educate children, or save lives’ to start. They even had the classic glass bowl full of Mentos to throw around when people participated or laughed - painfully accurate for anyone who has ever been to any workshop ever. This show is so meticulously written to ensure it resonates with everyone who has ever worn a lanyard. They hit on everyday workplace scenarios so specific that you’d swear they had been spying on every office in the country. The show has a patriotic lean to it when it comes to things like small talk about cricket/AFL/tennis, which the audience lapped up. The show is suitably accompanied by a painfully corporate PowerPoint deck, which the performers seamlessly interact with and recite from so slickly. It was a real treat to see such experienced comedians hone in on the mundane everyday with a healthy dose of humour, and it’s clear they did their research. There were multiple moments during the show when you’d hear pockets of laughter from around the room that were a tell that they had hit a nerve with a certain profession or branch of workers. There are a few sketches thrown in for good measure, including a segment about the painful realisation that a Word Doc you’ve written has been murdered by tracked changes from 10 different people (shout-out to Charles’ very accurate portrayal of Abraham Lincoln). Without giving too much away, the finale was hilarious and made use of stock footage that the likely majority of Australian corporations have used in their recruitment ads for the past few decades (think wind turbines, people high-fiving, and sunsets). It was the perfect note to end on. It’s clear the pair are onto a winning formula, as their entire Adelaide Fringe season sold out. They’re touring around the country over the next few months, so I’d highly recommend you round up your office mates (who can take a joke) and book tickets for a hilarious night.