The world that Australian playwright Ross Mueller portrays in his new play A STRATEGIC PLAN, directed by Chris Mead, comes as little  surprise. It is, in fact, depressingly familiar.

We see management writing on endless whiteboard and going off on their own merry tangents and caring very little about what their staff think or feel. Mueller’s scenario sees a man hired for a big project, and then fired before he can actually bring it to fruition. The case ends up in court.

What makes this play even bleaker is the particular project that gets pulled was arts related. The said Company’s strategic plan was to give young, disadvantaged people a greater opportunity to make it in the music business.

So, there was not much to smile about with this show, it’s too close to nerve. Mueller tries to swing his play into an upbeat ending, but I wasn’t all that convinced.

I do recommend going to see the show for two main reasons. One, Mueller writes great dialogue, and there are plenty of witty, cutting lines to enjoy. Two, the performances. They are uniformly appealing.

Matt Day plays the erratic, manipulative suit Simon, Briallen Clarke is his co-operative HR lady, Justin Smith plays Andrew, the admin muso who wanted to make a difference, and Emele Ugavule is a young staffer who gets inspired by Andrew and sets out on her own path.

Ross Mueller’s A STRATEGIC PLAN is playing the SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross until March 11.