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Roaring Trade

Published 2 October 2015

What’s it all about?

The highs, humiliations, hunger and – as depicted in this play at least – downright hideousness of life as a bond trader. Now, whether or not it’s normal to be cheated out of millions by your colleagues for fun or flirt your way to six figure commissions I wouldn’t know, but it certainly makes for entertaining viewing in Steve Thompson’s banking drama.

Who’s in it?

Nick Moran stars as a man with balls of steel: a trader who will ignore his limit to risk it all for a quick win, who teaches his son how to fleece his gran and bullies the new boy with manipulative tip-offs and M&Ms (thrown at his head, in case you were interested). He is brilliantly distasteful as a caricature of a ‘bad boy banker’, delivering Thompson’s witty comebacks and put-downs with zeal.

As bad boy bankers go, Michael McKell’s washed up trader PJ certainly gives him a run for his money. If you’ve seen The Wolf Of Wall Street, it won’t be the first time you’ve witnessed such gurning faces and slurred soliloquies as he drinks himself out of a job, depressed by dwindling bonuses and his unimpressed wife.

What should I look out for?

Frequent moments of jaw-dropping greed – from crowing about making millions from the Syrian conflict to casually downing £400 bottles of champagne on a work night.

Who was in the press night crowd?

We spotted Ian McKellen but, let’s be honest, Hazel the theatre dog steals it every time. (FYI: you can follow her on Twitter here).

In a nutshell?

Get ready to feel equally compelled and disgusted as you step into the shoes of a bond trader in Steve Thompson’s Roaring Trade.

What’s being said on Twitter?

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Will I like it?

Roaring Trade isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t already know (although the ‘How To Make Millions From Buying Debt For Dummies’ section was news to non-millionaire me). We know there are people gambling more money than an arts journalist would make in 100 lifetimes every minute, and that this greed can lead to some abhorrent behaviour. But, if you’re looking for an insight into this intriguing world where every roll of a dice has the potential to make you a hero or see you booted out the door, an accomplished cast and Thompson’s spiky, witty script make this a good gamble for an entertaining evening.

Roaring Trade is playing until 24 October. You can book tickets through the Park Theatre’s website.

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