Edinburgh Fringe show Spent inspired by global financial crisis

This article is from 2011.

Edinburgh Fringe show Spent inspired by global financial crisis

Ravi Jain and Adam Paolozza from Canadian company Why Not Theatre

Canadians are in a unique position to comment about the global economic crisis. We spend most of our time braving the long, cold winters. To survive, much of our year is spent in hibernation. As a result, we know how to save.

Also, living in Igloos on the unforgiving arctic tundra, we can’t let anything go to waste: we are always sure to use all parts of the animal when hunting. Incidentally, beaver teeth are fantastic for decorating the tree at Christmas time. So, we know how to make a little go a long way!

But seriously, we were just as dumbstruck as the rest of the world. How could something like this happen? And people on Bay Street (the Canadian Wall Street) were afraid – when we did the promo photos for the show with the ‘Hire Me!’ signs on Bay Street people thought we were actually unemployed businessmen desperately hustling for work. They yelled at us, ‘Right on!’ and ‘Good luck!’

We knew we were on to something with the show. Then the media lit up and all kinds of crazy stories came out about how the crises really happened, who was responsible and who really got burned. We felt extremely disgusted by the greed that was at the bottom of all these stories. We, like most people, felt betrayed and sad. We were angry but we decided to transform our anger into laughter.

Spent joyfully denounces the greed that caused the crisis.

And we wanted to allow people to get together and have a cathartic laugh about this shitty thing that happened. And still is happening – it’s no coincidence that in the wake of the crisis many countries, Canada included, are becoming more conservative as they swing harder to the right. This does not bode well for the arts and we’re happy if we can use our work to at least start people thinking critically about these things.

Spent, Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 6–29 Aug (not 17, 23), 2.55pm, £9–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews until 5 Aug, £5.


  • 4 stars

A two-person comedy highly acclaimed for its fast paced, intelligent and poetic commentary on the greed that caused the financial crises. At the heart of this clown / buffoon piece is the story of two financial executives who have lost everything in the crash and jump from a building. Winner of the Dora Award for Best…

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