RUN – Engineer Theatre Collective

Devised Theatre / New Writing, Pleasance Courtyard, Venue 33, 13:15 until 31st August.

Run is a gritty and frank exploration of the way the graduate job market, the pressure for finding employment, and the toxic stress of the financial industry can prove fatal and ruining to those going through its unapologetic sausage grinder. Although providing a balanced approach to arguments about the City’s complicity and guilt in the 2008 financial crisis, the show clearly criticises and damns the culture which pitches graduates against each other to compete in horrendous working cultures for the lucrative prize of a life spent in wealth and security. Addressing the way in which sexism, privilege and backstabbing competition underpin the world of internships in an unflinching manner, Run is a very impressive and understandably harrowing production.

Set around the experiences of four interns at an unnamed financial firm in the City of London and inspired by the tragic death of Moritz Erhardt, 21 year old intern whose death came as a result of the unconscionable working conditions he faced as a City intern, and drawing on conversation with workers and interns in the financial sector, Run is firmly grounded in fact even if it weaves fiction to push these obscenities to light.

With great sound design and simple yet effective choreography reflecting the fast paced, stressful, zombifying work of the intern-drones, Run communicates every bead of sweat and teardrop in a visceral and captivating manner. Engineer is an impressive production company, and reading through the literature they leave on their audience’s seats it is clear that the actors, who have trained from Moscow to Dublin, before us are the very best of their crop. Charlotte Watson (Caroline), and, although it feels unfair to single out one actor from a superb cast, gives a performance which distils and reproduces the experiences of thousands of less privileged students. ‘Run’ is not for the faint hearted and does contain some very distressing scenes, but as a snapshot of the state of the graduate rat race, and as a eulogy for those that have suffered through it, this show is a triumph.

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