City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Crash, Traverse Theatre, Review

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 30 April 2016

Crash - Jamie Michie
Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Traverse Theatre Company
Andy Duffy (writer), Emma Callander (director)
Jamie Michie
Running time: 

‘Money is power and freedom – who isn’t interested in that?’ asks Andy Duffy’s anonymous stock market trader.

Perhaps too many is at least one answer. Set in the aftermath of the 2007 banking crisis, ‘Crash’ seeks to respond to our times but ultimately fails to produce a remedy or much in the way of analysis, although it does provide an hour’s worth of gripping performance from Jamie Michie.

Recovering from the trauma of a car crash in which his life partner has been killed, Michie moves from stunned and bereaved through trading failure to start up independent financial manager and into a new relationship in what feels like, and in real time is, a startlingly short space of time.

Which is the essential flaw in an otherwise very fine piece of writing, and it’s to Michie’s credit that we go with the flow for much of the life of this play.

In fairness, Duffy’s subject matter is in part the stuff that makes most folks eyes roll unless your substance depends on the way the day’s numbers turn out.

Duffy is good on the mechanics of routine trading and its tendency to lengthy patches of boring predictability interspersed with the adrenalin rush of ‘market volatility’, but his trading character has little time to do more than outline both the working of the markets and his own appalling life experiences, for which he may or may not be at least in part culpable.

Originally reviewed elsewhere on this site, the production has clearly been cunningly constructed with the constraints of contemporary theatre in mind, but as Duffy makes clear elsewhere, those working in finance have no more monopoly of virtue or vice than the rest of us, and one hopes he may find a way to explore that reality in more detail in future.

Meanwhile, ‘Crash’ still offers a glimpse of a playwright and actor working in productive harmony.

Til 30 April