BWW Review: OZASIA FESTIVAL 2019: £¥€$ (LIES) at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

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BWW Review: OZASIA FESTIVAL 2019: £¥€$ (LIES) at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival CentreReviewed by Barry Lenny, Sunday 20th October 2019.

My first visit to the OzAsia Festival 2019 was to review the Belgian theatre company, Ontroerend Goed's production, £¥€$ (Lies), with a cast drawn from Belgium and Hong Kong. This is an interactive performance that investigates the world economic system and the power and influence of the 1%, the disgustingly rich, who have more wealth than they could ever possibly need, or use. For one, brief, shining moment, the audience joins their ranks to manipulate the global economy, and get even richer. I was intrigued by the prior notification that "Some cash on hand is required". Don't let that worry you. You won't lose the shirt on your back.

The audience are met, directed, and are sat at semicircular tables, seven to each table, and each person is provided with a number poker chips, each worth a million dollars, and a six-sided dice. A cast member acts as a facilitator, explaining the changes that the variations in the economy have on your progress.

It all begins simply enough. Invest a million, and roll the dice to see if your investment bears fruit. Rolling a three, or greater, grants success, and a profit. Even if you hold a Master's degree in Keynesian, Friedmanite, and Fisherian economic theories, it will not help you one jot. Ostrom, Kehneman, Tversky, and the rest cannot help you. The real world, represented here with a touch of chaos theory thrown in for good measure, is a different kettle of fish.

Over the best part of two hours, you will attempt to manipulate the market or, perhaps, the market will manipulate you. You will speculate to accumulate. You will play safe, you will take risks, you will buy, sell, and trade. You, as a bank, might merge with another bank to gain an advantage over others. You will become aware of global influences, the other tables of players, and begin to understand how they affect your table, and you individually. Then, there are unexpected outside effects. Remember the GFC? Anything can happen at a moment's notice good or bad.

This is a brilliantly conceived and executed piece of totally immersive and interactive theatre. It is fun, funny, captivating, and, dare I say it, both educational and enlightening. More importantly, it is highly entertaining and all of the participants appeared to have had as much enjoyment from the production as did I. On the bright side, I have an IOU for $13.5 million.

Artistic Director, Alexander Devriendt, and the cast: Hannah Boer, Britt Bakker, Joeri Heegstra, Nora Ramakers, Sjef Camil Van Schie, Luca Bryssinck, Christopher Hutchings, Zoe Chan, Tai Yin James, Chan, and Vincent Chi-Wai Chiu, have created a very clever, and slickly performed production.

Monday's performance is already sold out, but there are a few tickets left for the final performance on Tuesday, so make sure that you get one. This is an unforgettable production.



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