Top 5 Away Days. 16 November 2011 How getting away can bring you closer and other stories

A week last Friday saw The Corner Shop’s annual Away Day take place in the very sedate and respectable surroundings of The Crown Inn in Amersham.  


Among the many issues tackled on our Away Day was the looming prospect of the Olympics, which threatens to change the theatre landscape significantly in 2012, and about which a mini-ruckus kicked off last week. 

And so, to mark these two major events of the past couple of weeks (!) here is an Olympics-themed podium run-down of the funniest work away day moments of recent years.

Don’t agree? Spotted a glaring omission? Make our top 4 into a top 5 by adding your own suggestion or personal experience if you prefer.

Free Love on the Free Love Freeway 
Frustrated by the lack of progress made on Wernham Hogg’s training day, David Brent turns to his guitar for inspiration. The highlight is Gareth’s backing vocals – rarely has one action so perfectly encapsulated a character and a relationship.

Team Building Exercise ’99 
Not so much a day as a memento of a day. As the singer from Flight of the Conchords’ hit Business Time gets down to, er, business, the object of his desire slips into something a little more comfortable… “Next thing you know we're in the bedroom/ You're wearing that same old, baggy t-shirt with the stain on it/ That you got from that team-building exercise/ That you did for your work several years ago/ Team building exercise '99! ”

Back To School 
The Operation Good Guys team are demoted and re-trained as beat officers. This criminally under-rated late-Nineties sitcom hits vintage stride in the bridge building-exercise. Witness also ‘Castaway’, in which the Good Guys take part in a reality TV show on a desert island, with less than team-building results.

Legz Akimbo Theatre Company 
Not, strictly speaking, an office away day, but I’ve been on training courses using drama techniques that were almost as awkward as this nugget of TIE gold from The League of Gentlemen.

Stephen Pidcock

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