(left at the interval)
This is probably a 3 star play but given a long week and for once, I am not obliged to stay for the whole show, I took the opportunity to catch up on some couch lounging.
The Low Road concerns our protagonist, is raised in a brothel and claimed to be the son of G. Washington of Virginia in late 18th century America. The young man has a strong believe in capitalism and the financial system of loan, bond and shareholding is the way to go. When he set out on his journey after some unfortunate shooting incident, he is met with different scenarios which he has to put his ideology into practise. This is an examination and dissection of the fundamental principles of our financial system and the ambition to perhaps provide a historical context.
Based on the first hour and a half, this once again proof that there is rarely the need for a 3 hour play. There is never enough decent material to fill that much time unless it has a intricate storyline and dramatic character interactions which this lacks. It isn’t all bad but unfortunately not enough of it. The double robbery scene is extremely entertaining but for the purpose of storytelling, is over-long and laboured. In contrast to a particularly bad scene where 12 people is sat around a table debating the merit of capitalist and socialist state, I am so close to shout out “shut up! Just shut up” when all 12 of them are shouting at each other. And they are just shouting at each other under the direction of “shout at each other illegibly”.
The first hour and a half could have done in 45 minutes if you take out the awkward jokes for the sake of adding comic relief to the script and some lengthy and yet elementary monologues on how capitalist society works. The major flaw is that although the historical context works in a way to show the bifurcation in history where money rules (hence the title The Low Road), it is set in that period of time to allow for and justify the writer’s elementary speeches that you will find everywhere in high school economics nowadays. It allows the rudimentary speeches to be presented as a new concepts and acceptable that other characters can convincingly look interested while listening to it.
This play needs a lot of editing and there is enough entertainment in it to be a good play. I am looking forward to the one hour 45 minutes version of it.