We Are Brontë


Very Hard Times

The Dept. of Smelling Pistakes

20,000 Leagues Under the Office



The Dept. Of Smelling Pistakes

Photo by Idil Sukan
Set in a Tatiesque-cum-Orwellian world of tannoy broadcasts, random directives, microdots and listening devices, 'The Department of Smelling Pistakes' is a delightfully daft piece of absurdist comedy about a Soviet civil servant's attempt to hold onto his job even though he can't remember what it is, while an Inspector threatens to wrestle if from him by putting him through a series of bizarre tests. Speaking in suspect Russian accents and communicating in what appears to be poorly translated English, the pair stumble through one misunderstanding after another as they try to outdo each other at political correctness. An hilarious satire on mind-numbing bureaucracy and Party paranoia, with spadefuls of surreal comedy and wordfoolery to boot.

Written by Angus Barr and directed by Phil Booth.

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