The recorded voices of Aaron Heffernan, Jack Gleeson and Katie McCarthy provide the unseen taskmasters who disinterestedly give the contestants their vague instructions; they also serve as the inner monologues of the comic book artist, who tries to stay in control by keeping track of ways she might have impressed the judges.
Joyce also directs The Win Bin, which starts very strongly: There's a lot of energy as the pair of actors jump from character to character, differentiating between them by accent - Scolding is also particularly good at making it clear which contestant he's playing just by his stance. They have good comic timing and some strong jokes to deliver. Although short, the show does lose steam after a while - the vagueness of the tasks may be part of the point, but it leaves the show feeling like it's run out of ideas, and it ends with a whimper not a bang. Essentially it's a bit too long to stretch its premise out to, and a bit too short to develop its dark side: The puppeteer tries to impress the judges by self-harming (all mimed, but with some grisly sound effects from Paul Freeman.) So The Win Bin doesn't quite live up to its initial promise, but thanks to an appealing cast and a few more good one-liners, it doesn't outstay its welcome either.
The Win Bin by Kate Kennedy is booking until the 26th of September at the Old Red Lion Theatre.
Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes straight through.