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Beth Steel

Inspired by the recent global financial crisis, the latest play from rising theatre star Beth Steel tells the story of the similar crisis that hit US banks and Latin American countries in the 70s and 80s.

Date Published
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‘Three years ago the doomsayers were predicting the end. Financial apocalypse. But the system survived. Because the system works. Time to take advantage of the goodies on offer.’

1978, New York. John Anderson is barely out of college and has landed himself a job on Wall Street. His dreams of unimaginable wealth, travel and power are made a reality as he jets around the globe selling loans to developing countries eager to borrow. And there are plenty – Mexico, Brazil, Argentina…

But cracks in the banks’ excessive lending strategy soon start to show. Despite the warning signs – and their consciences – John and his colleagues continue to pursue their targets, threatening to leave them all financially, and morally, bankrupt.

Labyrinth premiered at Hampstead Theatre, London, in September 2016.

Critic Reviews

A racily exciting work that offers the most compelling theatrical study of high finance since Lucy Prebble’s Enron and which suggests chilling parallels with what is happening today in the eurozone … As so often in drama, the virtue lies in the detail. Steel doesn’t just tell, but shows how the system works...This is invigorating, informative stuff.

Michael Billington, The Guardian
Critic Reviews

A fizzing play by the ultra-talented Beth Steel… There’s a great vroom vroom to this play, an energy that lifts it out of the ordinary. The director Anna Ledwich keeps mixing things up, skilfully interspersing the main story with more mythical elements, masked moments and dramatic movement. Jagged music discombobulates, people appear out of nowhere, some scenes are paranoiac, others full of fire-in-the-blood swagger.

Ann Treneman, The Times
Critic Reviews

Latin America's wildly entertaining answer to Wall Street… It’s quite a gamble, really – but it pays off handsomely...richly researched, it’s insistently useful and almost indecently entertaining.

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
Critic Reviews

A pleasure to see a play that’s unafraid of density, that unpacks complex subjects...and lays them out in a way that’s digestible, without spoon-feeding its audience. It’s an angry play too, showing how those at the top will always come out clean while the cycle repeats itself.

Natasha Tripney, The Stage

Beth Steel’s first play Ditch premiered at the HighTide Festival before transferring to the Old Vic Tunnels. Ditch was shortlisted for the John Whiting Award. Wonderland her second play was performed at Hampstead Theatre in and won her the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. Her third play, Labyrinth opened at the Hampstead Theatre in 2016.

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