The Arts

Shaw Festival – Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money

Shaw Festival – Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

The Shaw Festival production of Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money is a mess.

Churchill is one of the most exciting and original writers in the English language. Her 1987 Serious Money is a biting satire about financial wheeler/dealers during Margaret Thatcher’s reign as prime minister. It has a lot of relevance for today – if you could hear it.

Director Eda Holmes did not work on diction, and speech is obscured by the adopted English accents. Marla McLean who plays the key role of Scilla Todd is particularly hopeless, but she is not alone.

Now the new Studio Theatre at the Shaw Festival may have acoustical dead zones, but it is up to the director to compensate. Only old-timers like Lorne Kennedy and David Schurmann are universally clear-voiced. Among the younger set, Ali Momen as Zackerman, manages to conquer the speech problems, but then, he’s playing an American.

Serious Money continues at the Shaw Festival’s Studio Theatre until Sept. 12.

Serious Money
Shaw Festival
Written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Eda Holmes
Featuring Marla McLean, Ali Momen, Graeme Somerville and Ken James Stewart
Studio Theatre, Jul. 31 to Sept. 12

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