$5.40 – $15.00
Hidden Agenda is a slightly absurdist comedy set in a conference centre; the nature of the conference is vaguely to do with leadership and working as a team. The six characters [three men, three women] set about their tasks as a group but along the way we realise that each of them has their own aspirations and ambitions. They are not deliberately uncooperative but they do miscommunicate, misunderstand each other and behave quite dysfunctionally. Kate is a middle-aged, dominating person; Colin [in his 50s] appears incompetent and promotion and life have passed him by; Lyndell is an egocentric go-getter; George is a macho, chauvinistic sleaze; Kaaren is vague and wimpy and Rick is a businessman in the wrong conference. They attempt several seemingly pointless tasks, regardless of their relevance or value, and succeed only in confusing themselves.
In Act Two they head off for a pub lunch and discover that the C.E.O. [of whatever organisation they belong to] has either resigned or been pushed aside. This leads to them all trying to decide who they should side with - the old boss or the challenger/s with hilarious and disastrous results. The dialogue and action shift from naturalistic to almost the absurd and the group dynamics is generally awkward at best and frustrating and excruciatingly painful at worst. Although the group seems to have to make some crucial decisions, they have trouble ordering and paying for a pub lunch.
Hidden Agenda has an obvious appeal to anyone who has been frustrated by a tedious conference, an aimless meeting or participated in a group incapable of making a decision. There is a deeper element to all this discombobulation; the conferees are attaching themselves to more significant figures who do make real and important decisions in society.
You can preview the full online text with a Membership
Female | 30s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 80
EXTRACT: You all give me the shits. I have been trying to get you to understand that I need to eat something .... I left my lunch back at the conference centre to come to this awful place with you and you've done nothing but worry about yourselves and your own problems. You've been rude to Rick and you've moved his chairs around [and that can be very upsetting to a waitress who is trying to give every one their food orders but everyone's changed their seats]. You've upset George ..and now you're getting stuck into poor Colin.