Dublin Fringe Review: The Money

Review by Johnny Walsh

While admiring the beautiful interior of the Dublin’s City Hall, a voice thundered over all conversations, calling the silent witnesses to the front. We spectators took our seats first in the Council Chambers, and the players followed and filled the seats in the middle. That is when the rules were explained to us.

Seth Honnor’s The Money is a social experiment, where a group of people are put on display and given an amount of money (in this case €225) which they are allowed to spend on anything provided what they buy is  agreed unanimously within an hour and that it abides by three rules: it cannot be given to charity; it cannot be split between them; and it must remain within the boundaries of the law.

The setting of this show was perfect, I couldn’t help but think which member of the council’s seat I was in in this brightly lit chamber. And as was said by a few of the players, a perfect place for democratic debate, or lack thereof. It is a looking glass to see people’s true nature, however altruistic or selfish that is. How do you spend a sum of money that you didn’t have before coming into the room? How do you want people to see you spending this money, both the others in the room and the people watching you debate?

As it is completely up to the players, some of whom weren’t aware they were going to be in the decision-making process, I imagine that this show can get a bit stale or lacklustre, but silent witnesses can join the players provided they add €15 to the pot and spice things up. Even when things are moving slowly, people’s actions don’t fail to amaze.

This show is a fantastic thought provoker which I would happily see again, either to participate or spectate. It both intrigues and entertains, with laughs occurring naturally and from the witty remarks of the host. The main question is, will they reach an agreement on how to spend The Money?

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