Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review: Money The Gameshow at Hexham Queens Hall

What’s the value of money?

Money The Gameshow
Hexham Queens Hall
Until 25th September then on tour

The bursting of the banking bubble affected us all back in 2008. Trying to produce an entertaining production about the causes of a financial disaster may not appear to be the material of a riveting yet extremely entertaining production and yet Clare Duffy has managed to achieve the impossible. By merging the story of the mismanagement of extremely large sums of money with the format of an interactive game show Unlimited Theatre have produced some quality theatre.

The audience are split into two competing teams: the gregarious Queenie leads one team whilst the risk taking Casino takes the other. Suzanne Robertson uses her charisma to encourage the audience, in her Queenie team, onto the stage to take part in challenges. Stuart Ryan, as Casino, has the competitive streak to match that of his female counterpart.  By using a set of straightforward games, the nature of the various banking gambles are explained as each team tries to get its share of the £10, 000 of real pound coins that start the show on the stage. 

It is real credit to the actors that people are made to feel at ease and never pushed to do anything that they don’t want to do – this is an interactive show that is not about embarrassing anyone other than the bankers and fund managers in the story.

The set and the lighting help make the scene feel more like a tv game show set than a theatre.  Just like a show on the box, the pace is rapid helping the time to fly by.

The production is a startling reminder of the collective belief that money has real value and in the ability of the few to make rash decisions with the property of the many.  As the show draws the audience in, it is able both entertain and educate. This is a great production as it leaves you pondering the serious questions as you leave. The end product is a thoroughly entertaining evening of which Unlimited Theatre can be justifiably proud.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook

Written and directed by: Clare Duffy
Assistant Director: Jenna Watt
Performed by: Suzanne Robertson (Queenie) and Stuart Ryan (Casino)
Designer: Rhys Jarman
Lighting Designer: Richard Godin
Sound Designer: Matt Angove
Original Music by: David Edwards
Stage Management by: Simon Perkins
An Unlimited Theatre and Bush Theatre co-production

On The Web:

Tour Dates:
Bishop Auckland Town Hall – 22 September
Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham – 24 & 25 September
Saltburn Community Theatre – 26 September
Seaton Delaval Arts Centre – 27 September
The Customs House, South Shields – 29 & 30 September
Arts Centre Washington – 2 October
Alnwick Playhouse – 3 October
ARC Stockton Arts Centre – 8 & 9 October
Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre – 10 & 11 October

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