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THEATRE REVIEW - The Power of Yes, National Theatr

There is nothing more infuriating than public naval gazing by media types. Who cares how the news is made? News is not news.
THEATRE REVIEW - The Power of Yes, National Theatr
There is nothing more infuriating than public naval gazing by media types. Julia Somerville once penned a double page spread entitled ‘How I Covered the Queen Mother’s Death’. Who cares? Who cares how the news is made? News is not news. This being the case, I was slightly dismayed to learn that David Hare’s play about the credit crunch, The Power of Yes, in the Lyttleton at the National Theatre, is actually a play about David Hare writing a play about the credit crunch. See? You’re already a bit annoyed just by that last sentence aren’t you? To be fair to Hare, there aren’t many playwrights who could come up with 105 straight minutes of very watchable drama on such unappetising sounding topics as securitised credit derivatives. Hare’s decision to chronicle his own researches actually works pretty well. The author character acts as the audience’s representative: a sort of donnish Everyman trying to get layman’s answers to questions from a bewildering range of financial names (some household, some withheld) who come and go on a black, sparsely furnished stage. Some interesting anecdotes emerge: the boxes the Lehmann Bros employees carried out into the street on meltdown day were filled, not with files and fax machines, but with bottled water and chocolate bars looted from their cashless canteen system: they had unused credit. David Hare entirely resists caricaturing ‘the bankers’ as moustache twirling vaudeville villains and it is easy to share his fascination and genuine affection for some of the city types he got to know (not Fred Goodwin who gets excoriated) but there is no escaping his conclusion: it could and it will happen again. You can’t learn your lesson if you still don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. Now then, pay attention and I’ll tell you how I wrote my review of The Power of Yes...

David Trennery

Wednesday 21 October, 2009

About the author

David Trennery is a free-lance writer.