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22/12/2009

Comments

Nick

In a cold, dark factory deep within the knot streets that you encounter if you head directly south from London Bridge station something quite strange is happening...an immense and mysterious machine is noisily grinding away, mechanically chewing up and spitting out any members of the public who manage to find the entrance to Money - a shunt production.
Before the play we are all relaxed, finding our seats and expecting the action to play out before us just like every other play we see on a theatre club night out, but it’s not to be. The riot cop holding a bunch of balloons gestures for us to come forward and climb the gantry steps and nervously enter into the heart of the machine. Unnervingly and we partake is a Kafkaesque performance of set pieces and vignettes all played out within the heart of an amazing interior of an installation in an empty warehouse space. First we are nervous, apprehensive, preoccupied, waiting to meet with the boss so we can put forward some pitch or proposal. Next we are carried away in the euphoric mood of success... high fives all round, good results - champagne. All the while we can see through layers of the opaque organization structure of the building through to what we can sense are key deals, negotiations and trades being made. Following success we feel a sense of falling as the machine begin to lose momentum and starts to fail, concluding with a climactic meltdown where the whole machine breaks down and grinds to a shuddering halt. There is no narrative, not plot, nothing at all really. The play is more of an atmosphere, a feeling and theme rather than a coherent story… but I loved it. Sometimes in the theatre when you have already an expectation of the scene you drift off and don't actually listen to the words because you know what’s happening. With Money we drifted throughout the entire play.
Funniest line is a tricky one? I did catch something in the final throws the play, the actor who played one of us was running round the floor bellowing nonsense which was mostly inaudible over the noise of the machine breaking up but at one point he came close enough to be heard saying - "If we had money we could buy croissants, if we had enough money we could buy millions of croissants... we could feed the world..... at least for breakfast!". It was brilliantly executed with sounds, props, lighting and a completely immersive set so fantastically fitted out that felt as if it was an actual, real dream. For me this was stepping on the boundary where theatre turns into performance art and I would be very absolutely terrified to go any further but I thoroughly enjoyed being close on the edge.

We had great food in the Kings arms on Tooley street. Unfortunately we were too early to take part in the 'bring your own Ipod' Jukebox session they run on Thursday nights so Richard didn’t get the opportunity to drop some phat Dolly Parton beats on the Southwark residents.

Nick

The above review is far too long (and pretentious). For those who want a brief review, have a short attention span or need a quote for the poster I have also written an 'executive summary' review.

"brilliant..."

Richard

Kafkaesque? Nick did you nick a programme again?
As well as 'kafkaesque' Nick also decribed this as 'edgy' and it certainly was.
Very different and challenging. I enjoyed it although I'm glad we don't see plays like this every month. It was more performance art than a play.
I'm certain that I didn't understand the half of what went on but I did realise that it was about capitalism and people's blind faith in money.
I really enjoyed the experience and the fact tha twe arrived and then were taken into a dark, loud machine. It felt like a ghost train or a house of horrors at a fairground. I loved that the play was so interactive and engaging although I was slightly fearful that Nick and Mel were going to get dragged into it at one stage.
The design of the machine or theatre or set was really well done.
I also enjoyed the fact that we walked around the machine and viewed scenes from other parts and that scenes were going on above/below/outside of the central area.
All in all, a very enjoyable experience that left me with lots of questions but a feeling that we'd been entertained.
Lovely food at the Kings Arms - good choice Nick!

Nick

No I didn't nick a programme I am just have a large vocabulary from years of wathching Countdown. FYI Kafkaesque is a term to describe things which are best enjoyed while wearing a Kaftan.

Melanie

I've told a couple of people about this, and one of them was even enticed to go and see it. It was weird and wonderful. It was about the gamble and freefall that is capitalism, I think. But that hardly mattered - it was imaginative, engrossing, a spectacle. Full marks.

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