Sunday, 1 May 2016

Crash @ Tron

I want to reach the Western Lands-- right in front of you, across the bubbling brook. It's a frozen sewer-- it's known as the Duad remember? All the filth and horror, fear hate, disease and death of human history flows between you and the Western Lands. Let it flow! My cat Fletch stretches behind me on the bed. A tree like black lace against a gray sky. A flash of joy.

How long does it take a man to learn that he does not, cannot want what he "wants?"

So, yes, Crash: it's already had its spin on the critical merry-go-round. Somewhere between three and four stars, if I remember and wise heads nodding and alluding to its critique of capitalism. Spoiler alert: think of a British American Psycho, a smaller body-count but the same emotional detachment in the protagonist, caused by attention to numbers. Audiences need a victim though, and this time, the protagonist's bird gets it. An aborted baby and a vicious stabbing are contained in the take-home party bag.

Blah blah blah, the set is sparse and a drone crescendos in the latter
stages. A monologue, nice and cheap I guess, and only the single perspective (he never admits to the kills, gets away with it, although the circumstantial evidence puts him at the scene of the crime). Enough ambiguity around though: was he always so emotionally distance? Is that what made him so successful on the markets - he does get slightly aroused when he makes serious losses? Was the death of his wife (the title's a pun, you see: an economic crash and one in his car, at the start) the trigger for disassociation? 

Whatever, the message is pretty clear. The current economic system is bad, as it converts humans into machines, or something like that. This tragedy - and a pregnant women getting stabbed up counts, and maybe even the hero's lack of remorse or care - reflects the personal cost of playing the stocks and shares. 

I did know this already. I say know... maybe I am wrong. This is fiction, after all. Maybe brokers go home and are kind to animals and babies. Frankly, the way that the Conservative party acts in the interests of big money, I assume they go home and eat babies. 

Oh yeah, it is tautly directed - except one time when a scene change is marked by the intrusion of a tune, in that way directors do when they can't think of another way to shift attention. But the lighting, the drone towards the climax, the focus on a single man... it's tough to keep the attention when the hero has no feelings. But that's a triumph. So's the performance. 

Do you want a star rating now?

Sorry, I have been distracted by the apocalypse. More plays that attack the status quo would be grand, thank you. And yep, the emotional cost of being a money-grubbing asshat is worthy. Kind of puts it into the human perspective. Coming from the arts, I'm always glad to see a successful bastard become a hollow shell. Keep it up, team theatre.

However, I am getting an attack of the Platos. He worried that performance, especially acting, was contaminated - a reflection of a reflection of the truth, written by a poet who didn't really know what they depicted. Without getting all 'write what you know' about it, I can't trust Crash. It's wish-fulfillment for the liberals. Here's the guy who did it. We are not to blame, with our piddling little bets on the Footsie Index. The guys running this are amoral psychopaths. Murdering his wife is just a metaphor for what his type are doing to the world, man. 

Keep telling yourself there is nothing wrong with mimesis. Sleep well, knowing you've seen a play that makes it clear. 

'Everything that happens is created by you.'

Confidence is everything in the world of high finance. Confidence in yourself, confidence in the market. Lose that and you lose everything.

Crash is the story of an enigmatic trader attempting to rebuild his life following a tragic event. As he takes the first tentative steps back into the brutal landscape of trading stocks, he feels the pressure begin to build.

In the continuing wake of the financial crisis, Scottish writer Andy Duffy creates a rare and poetic insight into the psychology of a banker’s world.

Directed by Traverse Associate Artist Emma Callander, acclaimed for recent festival hits Cuckooed (Fringe First Award) and Theatre Uncut (Fringe First and Herald Angel Award).

Written by Andy Duffy

Directed by Emma Callander

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