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In Development


Person Spec is about work. It’s about unemployment, uberisation, zero-hour contracts, discrimination, and so-called ‘unskilled labour’. It’s about the new relationships with work that have emerged for all of us. It’s about how we cope with needing to prove that our labour is valuable. It’s about what we ask of ourselves and each other to do that. It’s about all the things that our high school career advisors never predicted.

The show reverses the traditional role of the audience, enrolling them to interview a candidate for an exciting role. Over the course of an evening, the recruitment process reveals itself, and its troubling implications for the audience’s participation.

Why this show, now?

We’re entering into a crisis of unemployment and underemployment that is set to be the biggest since the 1980s. For many areas it will arrive on top of a decade of austerity, wage stagnation and erosion of skilled jobs. And with the approach of work-automation, the future of work is more than a little daunting.

Work changed in the last year for all of us, and it’s going to keep changing. This coming year we want to have the conversations we need to have about work – about what this means for us as individuals, and as a community.

1 Surreal 2Political 3Participatory 4Work-in-development 5Absolutely not

A Backstory

En desarrollo


Person Spec es una pieza que trata el tema del trabajo. Hablamos del desempleo, los contratos de cero horas,la llamada “uberización”, la discriminación laboral y el trabajo no cualificado. Hablamos de la transformación que está sufriendo nuestra relación con el trabajo. Hablamos de cómo afrontamos la necesidad constantemente de demostrar que nuestro trabajo es valioso. Hablamos de lo que nos exigimos a nosotros mismos y a los demás. Este espectáculo habla de todas esas cosas que nuestros orientadores del instituto nunca pudieron predecir.

El show invierte el papel tradicional del público y otorga al espectador el rol de un entrevistador de una multinacional que está en busca de un nuevo trabajador. A lo largo de la función se irá revelando un proceso de reclutamiento frío y mecanizado del que el público formará parte. Cuando las luces se apaguen una pregunta asaltara a la audiencia: ¿Cuáles han sido sus implicaciones en este proceso de selección?

¿Por qué ahora?

Estamos entrando en una crisis de desempleo y subempleo que será la mayor desde la década de 1980. Llegaremos al pico de austeridad en muchos sectores , presenciaremos un estancamiento salarial y la erosión de los trabajos cualificados. A esto hay que sumarle la creciente automatización del trabajo que expone un horizonte desalentador para muchas profesiones.

El concepto de “ trabajo”  ha cambiado mucho en los últimos años  y seguirá cambiando. En Person Spec queremos abrir un espacio en el que poder reflexionar sobre esta transformación, sobre lo que esto significa  para nosotros como individuos y como comunidad.

1Surrealista 2Político 3Participativo 4Trabajo en desarrollo 5Rotundamente no

A Backstory

“In 2017 writer Andrew Cook was commissioned to produce a series of role plays for a large recruitment company wanting to develop its hiring strategy. The specification was, ‘to discover and create workers flexible to creating their own future’. Undergoing extreme financial hardship, Andrew completed most of the work in Manchester’s Medical Evaluations Unit, while also participating in a fifteen day medical trial for which he received £3219. Under extreme financial stress, Andrew’s mental stability at this time began to falter. However he did complete the role plays, mostly from his bed on the ward. The trial produced no symptoms or effects, and as far as we understand the drug is now on the market. However, by the time Andrew emerged from the Unit although physically healthy he had by his own account (in a Facebook post and series of tweets) “turned from the meagre balcony of his sanity” to go “freely through the hotel of another place altogether.” Today Andrew is fine. Everything in this performance is from the role plays Andrew wrote in the document he eventually and submitted one hour after his deadline. That document is here tonight, and all that remains is what will be written by us. By you. Andrew was never paid for the work he completed.”