Job’s A Good’Un is a semi-autobiographical one-woman sketch comedy written and performed by Laura Taylor. Laura’s had 11 jobs in 10 years, from collecting glasses in a gangster-run bar in the Midlands to arranging flower baskets for Eva Longoria. Physical, narrative and highly relatable, the show includes all the ridiculous situations, eccentric characters and endless hours Laura’s spent in the workplace over the years.
“When I was bored in my jobs or was in a ridiculous situation, I thought it might be funny to put on stage,” she explains. “You meet so many characters in day to day life, and there’s something theatrical about that.”
Director Rachel Lee adds, “And as an extension of that, we think everyone’s been in a position where they hate their jobs or feel frustrated at certain workplace situations, whether laughable or just pure despair. We wanted to bring the ridiculous, emotional quality of that on stage.”
Since most of us will have had at least one or two rubbish jobs in our time, Rachel and Laura are hoping the show will be easy to relate to: “We’ve been discussing in our rehearsals how to make the connection with the audience and get them interested even though the storyline is very much autobiographical,” says Rachel. “I think people should come see it because it’s funny and it’s relatable. It’s a personal story, yes, but it is full of emotional moments that will make us go, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve been there!’
“I was reading a book and the author was talking about When Harry Met Sally – which is very different, obviously – and she describes that the film ‘has the precision of a personal story, but is actually interested in drawing out universal truths’. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
They’re also, obviously, hoping it will make us laugh: “A good comedy begins with a story that is engaging that people can relate to or are interested in,” says Laura. “The way that story is delivered is the secret to a good comedy.”
Rachel adds, “As a director’s point of view, I think the secret is to be aware of the elements that are funny, but also not milk them too deliberately.”
The show features in the final week of the month-long Camden Fringe, whose programme has included over 200 shows across 20 venues. “I think Camden Fringe gives shows such a great placing no matter big or small, and we’re very excited to contribute our story to everything that’s out there and feel part of something that’s bigger,” says Rachel.
Together, Rachel and Laura make up Smol & Ginger (so named because one of them’s small and the other’s ginger). “We were on the same Drama course at Goldsmiths and graduated a year ago,” explains Rachel. “We’re both really interested in telling stories, no matter the really personal ones, untold ones, weird ones that no one really thinks about.”
Finally, what would be their number one tip for anyone stuck in a job they hate? “Don’t let jobs define who you are,” advises Laura. “The people and situations that you find unbearable at the moment, let them drive you forward. Anything bad that happens at work remind yourself that you aren’t saving lives – unless you’re a doctor…”
Job’s a Good’Un is at Camden People’s Theatre on 25th and 26th August.