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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Riley’

This play, the UK debut of American playwright Sarah Burgess, is set in the sordid, parasitic world of private equity. The problem for me is that it doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t know already. The PE world is one populated by those who couldn’t give a damn about anyone else and don’t have an ethical bone in their bodies. So what’s new?

Jeff’s working on a deal to bag a luggage company in California. It’s a difficult time for the PE firm, and therefore an important deal, due to negative PR over senior partner Rick’s extravagant engagement party. The luggage company’s negotiator Seth is keen to retain manufacturing and protect jobs, but the PE guys have other plans. Jeff’s colleague Jenny muscles in on the deal, which makes Jeff side with the target (rather implausible, I thought), almost scuppering the deal – but everyone has their price.

It’s performed on an apron stage with a mirrored backdrop and just a perspex table and two chairs for props, everything shades of grey. This made Anna Ledwich’s production a bit static and somewhat perfunctory, though it did zip along. The four performances – Aidan McArdle as Rick, Hayley Atwell as Jenny, Joseph Balderrama as Jeff and Tom Riley as Seth – are all excellent, but I don’t think the material is worthy of their talents.

I’m getting a bit worried about Hampstead Theatre’s selection of new plays.

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