REVIEW: The Audit, Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Theatre ✭✭✭

Paul T Davies reviews Proto-type Theatre’s The Audit presented as part of the Paulse Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre.

Proto-type The Audit review Pulse Festival

The Audit

The Audit (Or Iceland, a Modern Myth)
Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
8 June 2018
3 Stars
Pulse Festival Info

Proto-type’s second theatrical work examining contemporary politics, following A Machine They’re Secretly Building, which explored data harvesting and privacy, (now looking ahead of its time two years ago), looks at the crash of the global economy in 2008. It leads to the years of austerity that we have experienced since, and the piece focuses on the response of the people of Iceland, who protested against the injustice of the bankers and traders. Illegal trading was exposed, and those found guilty of fraud were imprisoned.

Written and directed by Andrew Westerside, the piece takes the form of a lecture, with a podium and slide show, and weaves the story of an Icelandic girl and her grandfather into the story, taking us up to their protest. This provides the humanity of the story, and the piece is deftly delivered by Rachel Baynton and Gillian Lees, who are engaging throughout.

It’s a hugely complex issue, laden with facts, and it’s a tribute to the company that they make sense of the statistics and events, the videography and the synchronicity of the spoken word excellent. However, it felt, to me, a little clinical, more of a lecture than a theatrical piece, and I felt removed from the material. It’s shocking that these major events of just ten years ago have been hammered away by the speed of our Twitter led news cycle, and the piece does well to remind us of that. It also raises the question; what exactly does it take for the British to grab their pots and pans and protest?

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