Friday, 26 October 2012

You Can Still Make a Killing - review

Written by: Alex Hiscocks (@alexislawl)

Southwark Playhouse, London


You Can Still Make a Killing is possibly the most superbly written and relevant piece of new writing this year, with dialogue so electric and a story so gripping, that the audience’s heads snap left to right in eager anticipation of the next volley of dialogue. I’ll summarise briefly: while the subject matter is still fresh in the minds of Britain, you owe it to yourself to see this play.

A quick glance at the playtext-come-programme for the show reveals that Nicholas Pierpan’s prose leaps from the page right off the bat; this is embodied by the excellent pairing of Tim Delap (Edward) and Ben Lee (Jack), 
and you quickly find yourself drawn into the silver tongued world of the banking elite. We follow the pair as Britain, and the world, stand tediously on the edge of financial crisis and as Britain’s economy falls, the jobs and livelihoods of those at its centre collapse with it. Kellie Bright, as Edward’s wife Fen, in unison with Marianne Oldham as Jack’s wife Linda, were superb. As we follow the struggles of Jack and Edward on the frontlines of the crisis we also see their wives coping under the pressures of job loss, family management and the stresses of being a stay-at-home banker’s wife. The pairing are a joy to watch on stage, serving to degloss our assumptions of who the top dogs of finance are by showing us that they are real people; with real issues and responsibilities to family and home, just like the rest of usRobert Gwilym deserves a nod for his role as the insufferable Sir Roger Glynn, reminding us that while we shouldn’t assume too quickly that those responsible for the crash are horrible, intolerable men, some of them still are regardless. As a whole the ensemble was well co-ordinated; it’s not everyday you get the opportunity to witness a whole cast on the top of their game.

I’m not keen to spoil the play before you’ve seen it, and I hope you will, but the end of the first half leaves you eager to see the rest, with the second half delivering with such force that various turns of dialogue leave the audience gasping in disbelief. 
We have all experienced the effects of the recession, save the lucky few. This compelling tale of two men and their battle to save their families, and themselves, from financial ruin is not one to miss. Even for those who have little knowledge of the actual technicalities of the collapse, Pierpan’s writing goes about explaining things in a way that is both subtle and unobtrusive.

You Can Still Make a Killing has already been nominated for awards just three weeks into its run, and rightly so. Make sure you catch it at the Southwark Playhouse whilst you can, and you, like me, will be drawn into the mad world of London’s financial district and the lives of those who inhabit it. Leaving the theatre reminded that man will do whatever it needs to survive, and that once you’re a banker, you’re always a banker.

This production runs until 3 November 2012.

For more information:

Follow us on Twitter / Like us on Facebook

No comments: