3 stars ***
Hill Street Solo Theatre (Venue 41)
CONSIDERING the extent of the 2008 crash and its consequences, there has been surprisingly little Fringe drama about the sheer hysteria of life in the City of London during the boom years. This fine monologue by Jamie Griffiths, though, in a shining exception; a solo show in the form of a power-point presentation by a young ex-banker who begins his talk with that shimmering veneer of arrogance that marks out young men gilded with huge financial rewards, but ends looking somehow empty and broken.
The slick voice in which Griffiths presents his lecture on risk management also alternates with the much richer and more grounded tones of the Welsh identity he has quickly striven to lose, in order to blend with the culture of his company; and which offers a faint glimpse of the multiple tiny tragedies of unspoken snobbery, cultural impoverishment and acquired rootlessness that accompany the extremes of modern corporate culture. There’s something about the ending of the show hat seems too low-key as a response to the slow-motion disaster of over-reaching, and greed which it describes; our hero simply accepts his role as a humble trainer, once his trading-floor career crashes and burns. It’s a formidable performance, though, on an important subject; and one that deserves more attention, on a Fringe that often seems obsessed with the personal and sexual, and largely indifferent to the political and financial infrastructure that shapes the world we live in.