AS a drum rolled, a woman silhouetted against a circus circle.

Maddening laughter engulfed the stage, only ending when the lights revealed an office full of water coolers administered by a graceless secretary, manned by a weird baby doll with a dead-eyed stare.

In this unsettling advertising agency, our unsuspecting interview candidate, June, suffered no mercy from the menacing Mercedes, a domineering dictator who veered between flirtatious mockery and furious jibes.

Often crazed and always sharply choreographed, playwright Karis Halsall’s whirlwind of clowning and puppetry tackled power structures, sinister co-workers and the shadows of mental health in all-out style.

A robed Virgin Mary tottered haphazardly into the breach on rollerblades, urging June to name a new water brand after her in a message from on high jubilantly soundtracked by Madonna’s Like A Prayer.

Elsewhere, a mute in-patient responded to a lion preaching about courage by stuffing his mouth with orange peel, and anxiety goblins screeched and prodded at a treatment table.

Reached via yoga and ventriloquism, the confessional, resigned finale saw all of June’s truths and deepest doubts loom large on a screen during the make-or-break marketing pitch – a dark and vivid nightmare founded on human fragility.