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Review: The Audit, Norwich Arts Centre

PUBLISHED: 07:47 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:47 22 March 2018

Norwich Arts Centre - The Audit
Photo: Adam York Gregory

Norwich Arts Centre - The Audit Photo: Adam York Gregory

Adam York Gregory

Eve Stebbing is intrigued, but not moved, by a play exploring the 2008 financial crash.

Ever since the crash of 2008, there has been a sense of worry. Just what is happening to our money? When we invest it in banks, there are now supposed to be mechanisms in place which mean they cannot gamble it, or use it as a way to buy bad debts.

But have things really changed, or are we still propping up the same flawed system that is bound to fail at some moment or another and drag us all under?

These questions, and others of a similar ilk, are raised by The Audit. A stock-taking exercise, which reminds us of the realities of where our money goes, and what happens when what we invest in goes wrong.

It’s a highly informative show which expounds the vagaries of globalisation and its associated corruption. It also advocates a kind of quiet revolution engaged in by every community, however small. If enough people make a stand, finally things will change.

The problem is, that despite riveting performances from Rachel Baynton and Gillian Lees, and an exquisitely-written script by Andrew Westerside, this work does not constitute a sufficient cri du coeur to set a revolution in motion. Not even in the confines of the Arts Centre.

And the reason for this is Eva. Eva, who lives in Iceland, is the central character of the piece. We join her in 2008 just at the point of the crash. We are informed that a wave is coming that is bound to engulf her, and after hearing the details of her country’s appalling financial situation, we wait for the crest to fall.

But the trouble is, it doesn’t. Things don’t seem to change for her very much, even after her family has faced ruin and revolution.

Robbing the play of its drama perhaps makes it true to life, but draws its power.

Still this is a great summary of a time that should not be forgotten, a salutary lesson for our uncertain future.

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