The Money review: Human nature on absorbing, infuriating display
Dublin Fringe Festival: What’s at stake in Kaleider’s ‘showgame’, cash or democracy?
The Money: 12 players try to win the pot by agreeing how to spend it within an hour. Photograph: Steve Tanner
Dublin City Hall council chamber
★ ★ ★
This is not a gameshow, according to the mischievous British company Kaleider; it is a showgame. It’s a telling inversion, making a kind of satire about participative democracy, putting human nature on absorbing and sometimes infuriating display.
The rules are simple: 12 players try to win the pot – €225 on opening night – by agreeing how to spend it within an hour, on condition it isn’t given away or split between them. But unanimous agreement can be maddeningly elusive, and new players may pay to join and muddy negotiations. What price is consensus?
One player gets it right by joking about how their behaviour changes under observation. (An audience of silent witnesses may have the hardest role.) Some discussion about lottery tickets, cryptocurrency investment (bless) and lap dances (um?) eventually settles into “random acts of kindness” until a roundly distrusted new player entertainingly threatens to derail the whole thing.
That our pot is won seems a small miracle, that it is to buy tampons for direct-provision centres a reflection of the politics and dynamics of the group. That it takes place at Dublin City Hall poses another arch question: how do popular decisions ever get made?