If you’re in London, you should catch The Power of Yes, David Hare’s latest being staged at the National Theatre.
That’s the view of Colin Murhpy in Le Monde Diplomatique.
For a play about finance, it’s witty, accessible and presented with a breezy touch. As The Permanent Way [Hare’s 2003 play about the privatization of British Rail] was “a play about grief”, this is a play about arrogance.
But, according to Murply, it’s not really a play, or it doesn’t work like a play. So, what is it?
But perhaps the question, what is it?, is the wrong question. Perhaps the question should be: what does it do? To that, the answer is more straightforward, and more satisfying. The Power of Yes provides a densely layered, but intellectually accessible, insight into the origins and effects of the global financial crisis. It does so in the invigorating surrounds of a packed theatre, where the audience is perhaps communally more receptive to its political insights than if they were sitting at home, as isolated consumers, on the couch. It does so using the comforting conventions of the stage, with bright lights focusing our attention readily on the protagonists, and actors providing representations of real people that are larger, more presentable, and hence more digestible than real people ever are on stage. It does so for an audience that has paid and travelled to be here, and listens with an acute ear. . .
The Power of Yes may not be a play, and perhaps the material would more obviously make for a powerful article. But in the hands of David Hare, a playwright, it is well-marshalled rhetoric. At the end of the day, there’s something surprisingly theatrical about that.
Hopefully, it will make it to this side of the pond. And soon. . .