Run

Engineer Theatre Collective

Pleasance Courtyard

From 05 August 2015 to 31 August 2015

Rating: ***

Review by Keith Mckenna

Run is a striking devised piece about four interns driving themselves hard to get a post in the financial sector.

Over twenty short scenes show them from interview stage to the signing of the contract of employment, taking in the arrangement of a flat share, the after-work drinks, the drugs they take to stay awake and the intensity of their computer keyboard work. On route we learn something of their background including the universities they attended and in one case a religious upbringing.

Every scene is vividly drawn, with a precise economy of dialogue and movement. The acting is sharp and confident. We believe in the characters and can even care what happens to a number of them.

This theatre company has immense talent. However what they have produced floats in a kind of vacuum. We are told they work in the financial sector but it could be any workplace and, to judge by the gentle off-stage voice that represents management, it could be the most pleasant branch of some aspect of the care sector. We never get a sense of what they do.

The single conversation after work about bankers' morality seems inserted simply to illustrate character traits. Yet there is a certain slightness even in the depiction of the characters. Driven they may be, but there isn’t really any indication why they are so driven.

Ultimately for all the talent involved in this production, Run ends up being entertaining but shallow and that is a shame.