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£¥€$ (Lies) review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘engaging and beautifully presented’

£¥€$ (Lies) at Summerhall, Edinburgh £¥€$ (Lies) at Summerhall, Edinburgh

There are few constants in the work of Ontroerend Goed. Enter the auditorium for one of their shows and you could be in for an hour of apocalyptic prose in near dark (last year’s World Without Us) or they might rip out your soul and share the pieces with strangers like souvenirs (most of their late 2000s output).

This year, you’re invited to gamble on the financial stability of the planet. Seated at a custom card table with seven others and a croupier, you’re running your own bank, and though the stakes start small, your country is counting on you and the global market is whirring like a demented carousel at your back.

It’s a similar conceit to Company of Angel’s World Factory, only with fewer theatrical fancies and a far more robust interactive element. The game is brilliantly designed – clear and fun but building to a frenzy as the markets you’ve milked so greedily begin to topple like dominoes.

A few more surprises in the room would be welcome, but then we all know how this story ends. As the bubble begins to burst and bonds become worthless, the mechanics of a financial crash have rarely felt clearer or more terribly inevitable.

Verdict
Engaging, beautifully presented game of global capitalism in crisis, marred only by inevitable predictability
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