The 2008 financial crisis turned into an economic crisis, a political crisis, and a societal crisis. The consequences of the crash affected multiple layers of society, challenging economic, political, and social systems.
How could we draw meaning out of a subject so vast and elusive? Could an artistic approach provide a way to navigate a world that often inspires in us feelings of fear, injustice or revolt?
The project aimed to design an artistic experience which would serve as a joint reflection on the topic. An original play was created, focusing on the origins of the financial crisis, with different productions in each country.
Through this experience, European citizens were able to question a phenomenon that has disrupted their economies, their daily lives, and their perception of the world.
In 2009, a year to the day after the September 2008 financial crash, David Hare’s The Power of Yes opened at the National Theatre. The play explored the abstruse mechanisms of the financial system which caused the crash, as well as exposing the public discourse which almost led to an acceptance of its inevitability.
Watching the play gave the audience a sense of perspective and deeper understanding of the origins of a crisis which had profoundly affected them. Moreover, the play stimulated audiences to react, respond, and speak out on these issues.
What does it mean for Europe?
The UK was not the only country to suffer after the crash. How did the economic, social, and political ramifications of the financial crisis reverberate at the European level?
World Crisis Theatre offered artists from different European countries the opportunity to collaborate on an artistic project inspired by The Power of Yes. The resulting theatrical performance would hopefully provide Europeans with a means of understanding the complexities of the issue, as well as an outlet to express their perspectives, reactions, and concerns.
The European Crisis Games
Eight European citizens are chosen from the crowd to recreate the events of the financial crash, as they transpired at a European level. Their objective: to understand the complex subtleties of the European economy. They each present a portrait of a different economists, bankers, traders, academics…all while trying to understand the complex subtleties of the European economy.
How much money can they make? How far will they go to do so? How far is too far?
Freely inspired by The Power of Yes, by David Hare (2009)
Director: Bruno Freyssinet
Musical Director: Grégory Veux
Collaboration: Nathalie Yanoz, Ikse Maître
Sound: Julien Lafosse
Production: Juliette Bompoint, Julie Paule
Cast: Clémence Chatagnon, Hayet Chouachi, Hugo Miguel Coelho, Dimitri d’Urbano, Marilou Malo, Samuel Roger, Linus Sundqvist, Jessica Walter Gabory
Inspiration and initial conception of the project.
Preparation meeting with each project partner in Paris.
September 2012 – June 2013
Research conducted by students in each participating country and workshops.
Student exchange in Greece, including rehearsals and performances in Sifnos, Athens and Epidaurus.
Creation of The European Crisis Games at Teatermaskinen (Riddarhyttan, Sweden).
European tour: performances of The European Crisis Games together with responses produced locally.
Project conclusion. Last partner meeting in Ryddarhittan (Sweden) together with a last performance of The European Crisis Games, during Teatermaskinen Resistance Festival.