When launched two years ago, the Occupy movement with its slogan "We are the 99%" led some of its more credulous supporters to claim that a new, more inclusive politics was emerging. This was a movement, we were told, that was truly representative, that would encourage a new kind of participatory democracy and force governments to reassess an economic system in which wealth had become concentrated in too few hands. In London, an Occupy camp was set up on the steps of St Pauls Cathedral in October 2011, and lasted for a little over four months before it was cleared by the police. Since then, the movement has largely vanished from view, both physically and in the national press and blogosphere.

It is probably indicative of the weakness of the movement (at least in the UK), or the vapidity of its slogan (or both) that this production, which summoned that slogan as the theme for new writing submissions, includes half a dozen short plays, none of which make a single reference to the Occupy Movement itself.

This may of course be a deliberate decision on the part of BackHere! Theatre, whose own priorities appear to be to avoid anything remotely partisan. Their programme notes define the theme with brushstrokes it would kindest to describe simply as broad: "...each new week, another country succumbs to protest about tax evasion, austerity, human rights: basically anything..." But, in case that view seemed too controversial, they quickly go onto note, "This is not a forum for blame, this is an arena for the 99% – right wingers and left wingers, communists or the 1% themselves".

The consequence of an ethos which seems to suggest that all problems have the same source but that no-one is to blame is a show frequently about as engaging and helpful as listening to people moan about the weather; a sort of diet agitprop for those who want "their soapbox moment"', but who would apparently prefer not to grubby themselves by picking sides or suggesting what should change. 

Which is not to say all of the writing here is bad – D.A Nixon's short play Art's Grant is probably the pick. Taking the absurd premise of a writer seeking a large bank loan to finish their novel, it enlivens what might be a staid argument about the compromises of artistic patronage with humour and imagination (the bank manager begins the piece disrobing to a nature documentary of rutting deer, a rare moment for any of the actors to put themselves ahead "the message" seized gleefully). The argument it raises can equally be applied to government sponsorship of the arts however, which may explain why it's the first time I've heard it expressed on a London stage. 

Betting with the Budget by Chris O'Connor also aims for humour, and the piece was received warmly by the audience, although the premise that the government might bet the national debt on football accumulators is slight, even for a 10 minute skit.

Quite what any of the pieces has to do with the 99% movement, however, is anyone's guess. No one even seems to be sure who the 1% are – given that their representatives here include among others a highstreet bank loan specialist, the floor manager of clothes store, a suburban housewife bothered by flies and, in one of the pieces, simply "ghosts" glimpsed through the windows of expensive passing cars. 

More depressingly, there's little to suggest that the people they're trampling over aspire to very much more than exchanging places with the meanies at the top. When, in Betting with the Budget, the government tries to explain how they may have bankrupted the country by betting treasury funds on football matches, their draft defence is that it was a "policy that would be approved by the common man", a line we seem to be invited to laugh with more than at – and at which point any difference collapses altogether. It's not satire, it's an inadvertent comedy of despair.

With a short time to prepare, the cast do a good job at enlivening uneven writing and all emerge with credit. The unpretentious direction is also plus point. However, I hope next time BackHere! Theatre pick and develop their strongest pieces and care less about being all things to all men, all women and all shape-shifting intergalactic lizard offspring one-percenters.

Here. The 99%., at Lyric HammersmithJimmy Kelly reviews Here. The 99% at the Lyric Hammersmith.2