Susan Clarkson reviews: The ultimate stress show, by video arts
Format: the programmes includes video, course leaders guide,
delegates worksheets, Powerpoint slides and self-study workbooks.
Price: Purchase price £995, rental £185 for two days, excluding VAT
From: Video Arts 020 7637 7288
The format of this video comes as a bit of a shock when you first start to
watch it and it could result in some people deciding to switch off. It is a sort
of cross between an art-house movie and a sketch show such as Trigger Happy TV
– not what you expect from Video Arts (Dawn French and Hugh Laurie are nowhere
to be seen).
Once you are used to the format (assuming that you are not completely put
off by now) the messages about the causes and effects of stress in its many
guises are put across in a simple to understand way. The use of a guardian
angel who stands behind people telling them where they are going wrong is a
good way of bringing each sketch to its conclusion and to a large degree
removes the need for the on-screen messages telling you what the guardian angel
has just gone through.
This is definitely a video for a large group. It covers many causes of
stress, from the boss who doesn’t listen, to the ‘jobsworth’ and the worker who
just can’t say no, so not everyone will identify with each issue personally.
They will, however, be able to see someone they know in all the exaggerated and
sometimes plain daft situations. It should be used in the wider context of
stress management so it is probably best viewed as part of a long-ish
The decidedly weird format may be a clever way of getting across the chaos
and out-of-control feelings that people get when suffering from stress. I am
not sure though, if some of the message gets lost as the audience is trying to
work out exactly what is going on.
I certainly had to give it a second viewing, if only to get over the initial
shock of how things are portrayed. And it is definitely not for those who faint
at the sight of blood.
Susan Clarke is HR manager at Esteem Systems