RUN

In 2013, 21-year-old Moritz Erhardt, an intern at an investment bank, was found dead in his London flat after working for 72 hours without any sleep. His tragic story is the inspiration for Engineer Theatre Collective's Run, which follows four fresh-faced, City-based interns, Ana, Tim, Lawrence and Caroline, as they get to know each other and make their way through their gruelling 10-week placement.

Although sometimes lacking in depth, Run is an inventive and cautionary exploration of ambition, motivation and our relationship with money.

It opens with Caroline in the middle of a tough interview which, as well as examining her appetite for and approach to financial risk-taking, also tests her commitment to the relentlessly demanding world that she's looking to be a part of. The use of a spotlight and voice recording which poses the fiendish questions adds to the proceedings’ interrogation-like tone.

We learn that Caroline, and the others in her cohort, are the end result of an intensive and highly competitive recruitment exercise. They're the cream of the crop, the lucky few who beat over 5,000 other hopefuls to get places on the much-coveted internship. But, although their induction into commodities starts on a high note, the foursome's buoyancy and excitement diminishes as they negotiate banking's high-octane and uncompromising culture.

Charlotte Watson gives a convincing performance as the dutiful and determined Caroline, and Garbrielle Magulies is fabulously shocking as the focused and hard-nosed Ana. But, although we're given edited highlights of the others' backstories, we're not told much about Ana, which I thought was a shame.

The physicality, a feature of this company's work, is used to good effect in a scene where the four interns take some rare time off to let their hair down and get drunk together in a club. Sarah Beaton's utilitarian stage design vividly evokes a selection of unlovely and comfort-free environments, and Dominic Kennedy's sound design, suffused with dance music, conveys a fitting sense of urgency.

The scene in which Tim expresses disgust at the manner in which the banking crisis was dealt with provides a context to the state of the sector and its work. Thankfully, it doesn't take the form of a one-sided rant, as Lawrence and Ana enthusiastically put forward the capitalists' side of the argument. Nevertheless, this particular section feels heavy-handed and shoehorned in.

Although sometimes lacking in depth, Run is an inventive and cautionary exploration of ambition, motivation and our relationship with money.

Reviews by Dawn Kofie

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

RUN is an exhilarating story of four investment bank interns chasing a career in the City. Inspired by the true story of Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year-old intern who died at his London flat after reportedly working 72 hours straight, RUN exposes the glamour and grind of the Square Mile. Using striking physicality, sound and contemporary design, and developed in conversation with the freshest financial minds, award-winning theatre company Engineer Theatre Collective explore how violence, lust and death underpin our relationship with money. 'An astonishingly accurate portrayal of the lives of young City workers. A brilliant dramatization' (TheGatewayOnline.com).

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