Arts > Money, money, money

22 September 2016 | by Mark Lawson

Money, money, money


In her first two full-length plays, young dramatist Beth Steel has explored the extremities of the capitalist system. After a detailed reconstruction of the 1984 miners’ strike above and below ground in Wonderland, which won her the London Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright award, she now, in Labyrinth, explores the dangerously avaricious expansion of international banking in the period 1978-82.

In both plays, past events are dramatised to invite reflection on how they affected our present. Wonderland had an unseen coda in the impact on British industry of the Thatcherite creation of a post-coal energy strategy that stretches to Theresa May’s belated approval of a new French-Chinese nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

Labyrinth clearly hopes to send audiences away with the thought that the Reagan administration’s bailout of the United States banks gave the financial sector an attitude of recklessness without the risk of censure that led to the banking collapse of 2008.


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