There’s £10,000 on the stage. Ten thousand. In actual pounds. Anyone hoping to dive Scrooge McDuck-style into a pool of shining bullion will be disappointed, however, by the meagre pile it makes up.
Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions and some formal bravado, Clare Duffy’s ‘Money: The Game Show’ doesn’t add up to all that much either.
Our hosts for the evening are Casino (Brian Ferguson) and Queenie (Lucy Ellinson), two ‘hedge-fund managers turned performance artists’, who guide us through a gameshow pastiche where we battle to keep our team’s suitcase brimming with booty.
It’s really an interactive lecture on the nature of stock trading, of course, but the games are unimaginatively linked to the subject matter (basically we’re just betting someone else’s money on how quickly volunteers can inflate balloons) and eventually become a bore.
Oddly, these sections are interspersed with acted vignettes of Casino and Queenie’s rise and fall, but despite some strong writing and decent performances, they’re cut-outs, not characters, and impossible to care about.
The gameshow flimflammery is well-realised in Rhys Jarman’s spangly set, but Daniel Bye’s recent show ‘The Price of Everything’ made the same points more engagingly in half the time with a few pints of semi-skimmed. Stewart Pringle
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5 / 5
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I have to disagree with the formal review. This was an inventive, well thought out and extremely engaging night. The audience participation was wonderfully handled by the cast, something that would not have worked without the 'cut-out' characters. This is in the style of a gameshow. how much character depth would one usually expect? Both Brian Ferguson and Lucy Ellinson are un-naturally talented and powerful actors. I have seen both on stage in the past and believe me, the shallow yet immensely charming personas are very deliberate. I came away thoroughly entertained, thoughtful and impressed.