Madi Maxwell-Libby

Award-winning office temp Madi Maxwell-Libby tells us more about her show, Massive Sense Of Urgency, here on Friday 30 June.

Tell us a bit about Massive Sense of Urgency?

Massive Sense of Urgency is a physical-video-poetry-comedy show about an office temp trying to understand capitalism using props, power-tools, and mime.

Can you sum ‘MSOU’ up in three words?

High-octane, tongue-in-cheek, loud
Also…live-action drilling.

Why should people come to see it? 

Do you know what capitalism is? Or like me have you just been pretending to for ages? Do you want to find out, but not be bored to tears? Do you just not really give a toss? If you answered yes to any of the above then ROLL ON THROUGH! I guarantee you will find something to relate to.

In the West at least, we’ve never lived under any other economic system than capitalism. We assume its workings are ‘normal’, that they are just how things are – that we must sell our labour in order to live, that ‘time is money’, that if something is unprofitable then it must be inefficient. Is this true? How does this way of thinking impact our way of viewing ourselves and others? Today, the dominant economic system we live under is a particular kind of capitalism called neoliberalism. Lots of people have written about why it’s a really dangerous system, but most people have no clue what it is (myself included).

This show is an attempt to find out what this system is, how it works, and how it affects us. It’s an imaginative, high-energy attempt to work through the struggles of living in a society where everything has to be measured and quantified and ranked in order of value for money, and to make it funny.

It is going to be bonkers and fun and funny and dangerous and maybe a bit harsh at times, but it definitely will not be boring.

Who should come and see it? 

Theresa May. Office temps. Anyone who has been an unpaid intern. Anyone who has been alive in the past 100 years. Also anyone who would like to go out with me, I’m single and quite bored.

Lastly, what do you think there is a ‘massive sense of urgency’ for right now? 

Genuinely progressive, radical ideas about how we organise society and allocate wealth, resources and opportunities. We need to be having public conversations around ideas such as universal basic income, a shorter working week, how technology could be used to liberate people from the drudgery of work they don’t want to do – these are big, complex topics but we need to get them into the political bloodstream. Change takes time but it starts by asking questions, by interrogating the status quo, by not accepting that ‘that’s just how things are’. It starts by meeting others who feel the same way, by hearing about new ideas, by believing and knowing that things can be different. This show is an attempt to take something that’s pretty inaccessible and crack it open for all to see. It also features some surprising revelations about office temping.