London play examines financial crisis using pile of cash

Mon Feb 4, 2013 6:52am EST
 
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - One of the first things people see when they sit down to watch "Money the Game Show" at The Bush Theatre in London is a pile of 10,000 pound coins on the floor of the stage.

Standing by is a security guard to ensure the cash does not go missing over the ensuing 90 minutes during which two "hedge fund managers" guide the audience through the world of derivatives trading and the 2008 financial crisis.

Writer/director Clare Duffy recalls her sense of shock during the economic meltdown which undermined some of the assumptions many had about capitalism, markets and, more broadly, money.

"Of course I've been thinking ever since Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, it was just extraordinary to see the globalised economy on the brink of disappearing, money actually not working," she told Reuters during a break from rehearsals.

"It never occurred to me that was possible."

Duffy has tried to make her dramatization of the crisis as engaging as possible using a series of games in which the two actors - each playing a hedge fund manager - lead their half of the audience against the other.

Casino is on one side, Queenie on the other, and they invite viewers to bet long, bet short, and to hedge both ways.

In one game, an audience member puts as many coins into a suitcase as possible for as long as the manager can keep a soap bubble floating in the air.   Continued...