Though this is a story about a trader, the crash of the title refers not only to the financial crash but also to a car crash that turns the trader’s life upside down. At the heart of this piece is the question of control: to what extent can we have control over our lives and destinies?
The final moments see a nice sense of pathos settle over the play.
As the trader’s life starts to spin out of control, so do the markets. Writer Andy Duffy uses the ever-growing financial crisis as a neat analogy for the events of the trader’s life. The world of the play is characterised solely by one’s relationship with money: even when the trader enrolls in a meditation class, he performs a set of sums to work out whether the overheads of being a meditation teacher make it a profitable pursuit. They don’t. Similarly, a bookshop owner’s ambitions are quickly dismissed for being financially unsound. In the trader’s world, decisions are made purely on the economic worth. At times the point becomes laboured, as Duffy uses meditation and mindfulness as devices to shoehorn lines such as ‘your life is governed by fear’ into the play.
Jamie Michie’s performance is strong throughout, although the decision to seat Michie for the majority of the play leads to several points during the show feeling static and lethargic. When the trader is allowed to pace about the floor, there is a sense of urgency which would be nice to see more regularly.
As the markets become more uncertain, with ‘unprecedented volatility’, so does the trader, allowing the production to move towards its conclusion. The final moments see a nice sense of pathos settle over the play, with Michie’s performance perhaps allowing for a beat of empathy for an almost entirely unsympathetic character.