The moneymen have moved in. The Bush Theatre is currently a vault; the Roundhouse, a casino. Now Theatre Delicatessen falls foul of financiers with this tasting menu of three playlets from emerging company The Lab Collective.
It starts strongly. ‘Matador' – previously seen as part of Deli’s ‘Theatre Souk’ – might be subtitled ‘The Broker’s Revenge’. Spotted in a tight red circle is a flash City boy, played with oleaginous panache by Neil Connolly. He flashes the red-lining of his Ozwald Boateng suit like a capote, goading us with tales of bonds, blondes and bonuses. Then, just as we’re about to bash another banker, he skewers our hypocrisy. His greed is no different to ours as consumers. A sharp muleta to bear.
The rest, however, is undone by naivety. In 'The Beancounter', a tax auditor genially argues the case for taxation. Little more than a staged UK Uncut slogan, it misses the chance to further puncture our double-standards.
But it’s 'Trust Fund’ that really goes and blows it. A hedge-fund exec stands onstage and asks us to invest in high-flying youngsters. The reward: a cut of any future earnings. But of course, assets can fall in value too, potential being no guarantee against freak accidents – a dissenting voice turns out of be the father of one such broken talent.
The tone is straight out of Channel 4’s ‘Black Mirror’, but all this indignation fails to spot that this is basically the tax system by another name. More rigour required. Matt Trueman