Review – Spent, Pleasance Dome

There is potential for a thoughtful theatrical response to the financial crisis of 2008. SPENT is not it.

This is the story of two Canadian bankers who become urban legends after surviving a joint suicide attempt. Along the way they go to heaven (I think), meet the devil (probably) and do A LOT of miming.

What I think the performers are going for here is the creation of a web of interlacing images and themes, the hope being that the loss of the details or the lack of any sort of coherent plot or characterisation will be less important than the overall effect created. This doesn’t work. For one thing, the performances are simply not strong enough in a physical sense to paper over the gaping cracks in the text: standing on stage and waving your tie around might give a cursory impression of flying or falling, but if that’s what you’re relying on to carry your show then it’s going to be a long hour.

The end result could sympathetically be described as baffling; if I were being less polite then “incomprehensible” would be a more accurate adjective and if I were really upset – as I was when I emerged from this waste of time my life an hour shorter – I might even add the word “drivel”.