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Run review at New Diorama Theatre, London – ‘remarkably well-observed’

The cast of Run at New Diorama, London. The cast of Run at New Diorama, London.
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A visceral exploration of a dog-eat-dog financial environment, Run was inspired by the story of a 21-year-old banking intern, who died in 2013 after allegedly working for 72 hours straight.

Engineer – a theatre company led by directors Jesse Fox and Simon Lyshon – has crafted a slick but stinging portrait of the lower echelons of high-power finance, devised out of real conversations with young City workers. Run presents us with four eager interns beginning a 10-week internship at an investment bank. They are all chasing lucrative first year analyst jobs, but must jump through increasingly higher hoops to prove their dedication.

The production is remarkably well observed, we have all met at least one of these people before. Al Jarrett’s Lawrence – an entitled, Oxford graduate – is immature and entertaining, but begins to unravel, and unhinge, as the comedy turns darker; this is offset by the drive and intensity brought by Gabriella Margulies’ Ana. It is through Caroline (Charlotte Watson), however, that we see the real effects of this quickening hamster wheel around which they all run.

The staging is simple, but Lecoq-inspired physicality brings life to the canvas, particularly in its depiction of the heady lifestyle that accompanies the daily grind – Run is as much a criticism of the culture as it is of the work. But there are moments, often through Tim (an affable Joseph Sentance), that force us to see these careers through the eyes of hard-working, intelligent, young people, frightened of the instability of adulthood and apprehensive about providing for their futures.

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Intelligent production with fine performances and its finger on the pulse