Camden Fringe preview: Assessment Centre

Writer/director Craig Henry chats to us about his new show, Assessment Centre, which is coming to Camden Fringe in August.

“We would like to invite you to attend our Assessment Centre … your skills and suitability for the role will be tested …”.

Where: Etcetera Theatre

When: 8 Aug 7pm, 12-13 Aug 3pm

Ticket link:

Promotional image for Assessment Centre

What’s special about being part of Camden Fringe?

Fringe theatre has been at the heart of my work and enjoyment in the arts.

Having watched many shows at the Camden Fringe and seen the fantastic variety in medium and discourse, it is the perfect platform for me to put this show on.

For me, Camden Fringe supports a community of artists with a unified aim of sharing their voices in a safe space, and this is a rare gem in the modern industry.

Assessment Centre is a comedy drama about candidates for a new job going through a series of tasks. Tell me more about it!

Two people arrive at a job interview. They do not know each other but through the action of the play realise they have more in common than they think.

The play takes an ordinary scenario and uses this to challenge something much bigger, something that every audience member will relate to at some point in their lives.

Expect silly moments, impressions of animated characters, and a strange focus on eggs.

You’ve had a break from theatre for nearly a decade. What brought you back, and has your experience outside of the stage informed this new production?

I came back to theatre because this is a story I need to tell.

In 2019 I co-created a Podcast which shared the stories of Adults bereaved as children and this got me thinking. Greif is something so prominent in society but we never talk about it!

I also work in HR and recruitment, so if you take my profession and sprinkle in Grief and my experience of loss, the love child would be this play.

Are you familiar with the film Exam, which is a thriller about job hunting and assessment? If so, did it influence Assessment Centre in any way?

I have just watched the trailer for this and it looks so good!

Unfortunately, I did not see this before writing but I love the intensity and obscurity.

Something that has influenced me is attending assessment centres as a young graduate and all the crazy things employers make you do to sing for your supper.

This play makes fun of that but also asks the question, why do we put up with their nonsense?

The Etcetera Theatre is one of London’s smallest performance spaces, but it can be a magical black box. Was it your first choice of venue for this run?

Good things come in small packages. I love this venue. It is intense, raw, and has the audience and stage breathing on each other – almost as if the viewers are at the Assessment Centre……

It was the first choice. We spoke to others, but the Etcetera team was so engaging and easy to work with that we wanted to commit there.

What’s next for Assessment Centre after Camden?

This all depends on the audience. If it goes well and people think this is a story worth telling, then I would love to explore further options.

Right now, I am focused on the rehearsals and doing the best I can.

We have two fantastic actors, and I can not wait for the Camden Fringe audience to see what they do with this play.