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Theatre Review: Shunt: 'Money' Words by James Cowan

Hello there Rioters,

This will be my first posting as a theatre critic for you lovely people and what a first it was!!

I have not had the chance to experience a ‘Shunt’ before and having heard many a rave (sometimes 'raving') review it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I made my way to the darkened ex-tobacco factory on All Hallow's Eve to experience ‘Money’.

The piece is loosely inspired by Émile Zola's novel L'Argent, which is a discussion of greed, exploitation and deceit; the dark side of money. The novel is itself based on the collapse of France’s Union General bank in 1882. It is an unsurprising choice of topic, given the state of global finances. But this in mind, the experimental Shunt team introduce the most fantastical surprises throughout the piece.

‘Money’ instils a feeling of belonging, of risk, and of complete and utter bafflement. From the dreamlike quality of the three tiered ‘machine’ to the elderly, tough-talking Jewish gentleman on a pedalo, the absurd patchwork of images come thick and fast. At times perhaps too fast, for as my mind was desperately trying to interpret the latest mesmerising image another came crashing in to present itself.

The various characters involved ensured that the focus stayed on the images and the atmosphere was kept light, intriguing and inclusive. The most impressive character of this piece was the set; this gigantic, angry breathing machine controlled everyone within, both the audience and the performers. It spoke to us, intimidated us, and ultimately owned us, and it is this achievement that the Shunt collective ought to be congratulated on most highly.

As I prepared myself for ‘Money’, I set my expectations high, fortunately these expectations were met, and then some!

A fantastic first assignment for Run Riot, and on a night when the dark forces come out to play, this evening is one that will not be forgotten.

Till next time,





At 42-44 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3UD
(5 minutes walk from the shunt vaults)

Booking until December 22nd 2009
Tickets £20
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Also late night shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 9.45pm (doors open 9pm)

Performance lasts about 90 minutes.

In a tobacco warehouse by London Bridge sits the giant centre piece of their great industrial exposition - an abandoned relic of Victorian technology .

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