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Bank on It review at Rose Lipman Building London

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Giving the expression ‘a run on the bank’ a whole new meaning, this promenade show for everyone aged from five takes its audience on an interactive journey through an economic downturn. In typically eccentric Theatre-Rites style, this means literally hunting down a bank manager, first seen trapped inside a cashpoint.

Theatre-Rites is a company celebrated for its site-specific productions. In this one, visionary director Sue Buckmaster has created a bank with a will of its own. Joining the five performers playing disgruntled cash-strapped customers hot on the heels of the beleaguered manager are bank staff made from filing cabinets and computer consoles, and a box-file bean counter with a wizened old man’s head. Danny Schlesinger, as the bank manager, makes his discomfiture hilariously apparent.

When the action spills further into the bowels of the building via the secret safe, we, the customers, learn the difference between saving and spending with a series of carefully designed alcoves with ranks of gleaming jars and household effects variously representing the earth’s dwindling resources. In the final vault Nick Powell’s music, together with tightly co-ordinated sound, light and water effects, describes both an unseemly scrabble for filthy lucre and a realisation of ‘what really counts’. Once again, Theatre-Rites has proved, quite beautifully, excellent value for money.

Production Information

Rose Lipman Building, London, June 22-July 14, then touring until November 2

Sue Buckmaster
Theatre-Rites, the Barbican, Create London, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick
Matthew Blake, Marsha Gem Henry, Mohsen Nouri, Simon Palmer, Danny Schlesinger, Carol Walton
Running time
1hr 15mins

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