The Consultant

3 out of 5 stars
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Hugo Shackleton needs help. He might be the CEO of a medical imaging company but innovations in Korea threaten its future. Desperate to turn things around, he calls in wheelchair-bound consultant, James Brown (Pip Donaghy), who ‘helps’ struggling companies.

Donaghy’s Brown is a modern-day Satan, slithering around on his wheels and spitting out words like poisoned darts. His assistant, Nicola (Helen Millar), has an equally sinister sheen, eyes bulging as she looks for her next victim. But while Donaghy is amusingly vicious, he overperforms. And as the plays turns into something more emotionally complex, the consultants grow unconvincing.

The sharpest scenes are between downtrodden Hugo and his fiendishly clever wife, Claire (Sian Webber). Their encounters are more low-key and closer to the bone.

Fleming is a lively, pleasingly cynical writer – but it’s only when he resists the comic bullseye that his writing hits home.

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