Review – Money – Shunt (at a space on Bermondsey Street)

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Well. Money was, to put it bluntly, one of the most boring periods of time I’ve spent in the pursuit of theatrical experiences in a while. A mere 45 minutes in, I could already hear the voice in my head whispering “sound and fury”, and though I held on to hope, it was for nothing. It utterly failed to capture any kind of atmosphere, tell any kind of story, or, frankly, be interesting in even an incoherent way. I’m willing to concede that I might be suffering from a bit of burnout after seeing four shows in four days, but, well, this was the stinker of the bunch, and to be honest it was actually the worst thing I’ve dragged myself through in several months – and without the benefit of a clear way to leave.

The kicker was that I kept expecting that amidst the trouble they’d gone to to create a good atmosphere, there was going to be some kind of payoff, but there just wasn’t. It’s lame when my favorite point of an evening of theater is getting a free glass of cheap champagne and even lamer that my second favorite thing was an opportunity to throw (very light) balls at a particularly irritating performer. Silence: The Musical was a thousand times the show Money was, which is really pathetic given the differences in budgets between the two. Who knows, maybe Clockwork Quartet can do their next show in this space and really make it count for something; as it was, the transformation of the former engine housing in this industrial building was all for naught.

In short: cool set, great lights, fantastic sound system, total waste of time. I don’t think it really warrants any more effort on my part to describe it as I can’t get excited enough about it to make the effort.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Friday, October 23rd, 2009. It continues through December 22nd, though I’m sure you can find much better things to do with your time.)

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4 Responses to “Review – Money – Shunt (at a space on Bermondsey Street)”

  1. simon kane Says:

    For the record, there was no former engine housing. It was all fake, a set specifically built for the show. Sorry you hated it.

  2. Ralph Says:

    Totally agree with your review. Money was a set in search of a story. Shunt did some great nights in Joiner street, but this production was a stinker. Seems to my untrained eye that someone’s noticed what Felix at Punchdrunk’s been doing and wants a bit of that action – the difference being that what Punchdrunk succeed in doing with their shows like MORD and It Felt Like A Kiss is combine absolute meticulous immersive set design with a good translation of a story. What’s all the more incredible is that IFLAK was on for – what – a week – in Manchester, yet it was 1000x better than Money which is in situ for months. Money felt to me like a total fraud in the sense that you were supposed to be impressed because it flew over your head QED ‘it must be good because I don’t get it’. Sorry, shunt, but that trick used to work on me when I was 16.

    The set was very good, and the z-axis for a play is an interesting approach – its just a shame it didn’t get better used for some decent story-telling.

  3. Barbara Denham Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Webcowgirl. I felt like I’d had all my senses assaulted brutally for no good reason. It’s obvious that the people behind the high production values, i.e. the set builders and technicians, are the real stars. The plot and direction on the other hand had no sublety, no heart and no point.

  4. I cautiously recommend Shunt’s Money « A Fragment, Unidentified. Says:

    […] 24 hours later, and having read some other takes (Tyro Theatre Critic, Webcowgirl) I’m inclined to agree with this commenter about the confusion: I didn’t find the plot […]

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