Alice Burns

For Love or Money: A Review

Northern Broadsides brings to the stage an imaginative remake of Alain-René Lesage’s 1709 play Toucaret, now directed by Barrie Rutter. A witty evocation of greed, human avarice and jealousy, For Love or Money provides a laugh a minute whilst captivating audiences with a compellingly twisted yarn of deception, debauchery and deceit.

Image courtesy of Nobby Clark

Set amongst the supposed frivolity of 1920’s Britain, we meet Rose, a young “guinea-hungry flibbertigibbet” and recent widow, courted by gluttonous bank manager, Argie Fuller. However, despite Fuller’s lavish gifts and (not-so) entrancing poetry, Rose’s sights are set elsewhere – on deceptive young Arthur, the materialistic doctor’s son. Amongst this shallow web of lies and deception comes Jack, a young odd-job man, conscious of the wealth and corruption flowering amongst the rigid social class system taking advantage of him. A self-described “magpie”, Jack, together with housemaid and partner in crime Lisa, quickly learn to play each fraudster at their own game:

“To them, I’m an ant to crush with their heel.”

Written by Blake Morrison, this production provides an amusing satire of the corruption and insatiability that feeds our financial system. With dramatic irony by the plateful, the audience are kept on their toes by the fast-paced wit of Morrison’s script, combined with the ceaseless energy of each actor within his 9-strong cast Rich in thick Yorkshire dialect, the dialogue is awash with witty colloquialisms and well-timed comedic interplays brought to life by Northern Broadside’s talented production team.

Image courtesy of Nobby Clark

“The banker gives t’widow. The widow gives t’lover. The lover gives to no one. He keeps it all himsen.”

Amongst the hilarious bedlam of such an opportunistic love-triangle is the characteristically northern no-nonsense Marlene (Jacqueline Naylor). As Rose’s housekeeper, she initially provides a voice of relative sensibility amongst the carnage of deception and misanthropy, before later appearing as an antiques dealer who unwittingly brings about the demise of this established web of lies. Exploring the fine line between desire and mortality, For Love or Money is steeped in character, passion and misled shenanigans in this cornucopia of riotous social commentary.

Image courtesy of Nobby Clark

Full of energy, frivolous vigour and shameless tenacity, Rutter brings this 300 year-old play to life as a vivid reminder in today’s society of the true cost of greed. In this amusing satire of social pretences and corruption of wealth, the commoner gets the last laugh – with the audience not far behind.

Performed at the playhouse from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th November 2017, tickets from £10 available at the box office or www.everymanplayhouse.com.

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