The Consultant by Neil Fleming at Theatre503 from 23 Mar

Hydrocracker presents The Consultant by Neil Fleming, opens at the Theatre503, a fringe venue in Clapham, south London, from 23 March to 16 April 2011.

Directed by Geoff Church, designed by Agnes Treplin, the cast includes Pip Donaghy, Sian Webber, Helen Millar

A Faustian tale for the age of austerity which explores the usefulness and value of management consultants against the backdrop of George Osborne’s cuts. Hugo Shackleton is a man in trouble, and the trouble is: he doesn't even know it. Chief Executive of a struggling company, hounded by competitors, despised by his own Board, Hugo needs a Big Idea to turn his business around. But saving his business could cost his marriage. Into his world rolls James Ross, a charismatic management consultant with a dark past. Wheelchair-bound, furious with all mankind, and brilliant at everything, James promises Hugo he can change him forever. But once you sign up with The Consultant, he never leaves.

In this political comedy Neil Fleming writes from experience, inspired by a prominent consultancy firm’s advice that businesses should emulate Enron, only six months before its notorious collapse. In 2009, Labour’s last full year in office, government spending on consultants hit a staggering £1.8 billion. The Consultant satirises the hierarchies of the workplace, the language of business and the nature of consultancy.

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