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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Ten Pound Tale

Bear Pit Theatre

Genre: Devised, Theatre

Venue: C Chambers St


Low Down

Interesting and cleverly devised piece of theatre exploring the life and loves of a ten pound note, the scrapes it gets into and the places it goes. Makes you look on these instruments of exchange in a whole new way.


The average ten pound note lasts about three years and during that time passes through up to six hundred pairs of mitts, unless, that is, you lose it down the back of the sofa, or it gets wedged into the bottom of your wallet amongst all those receipts that you really did mean to get around to sorting through and chucking out. That ten pound note could tell a raft of stories, define a moment or even change a life.

In this interesting and cleverly crafted, devised piece, Bear Pit Theatre explore the sort of journey that a tenner may take through a mix of dance, physical theatre, verbal sketch and, in a novel twist, contemporary opera and musical.

Our tenner begins life by saving a young damsel in distress – well, one that’s about to get a drenching anyway – in a nicely choreographed routine involving ten white brollies and a yellow one. The gent who parted with the yellow brolly just happens to be a banker keen on the excesses of certain white substances who employs said tenner for various nefarious purposes, leaving it on a table in a bar where it is picked up by a waitress who takes it home, where she is conned out of it by two door-stepping fraudsters apparently there to check her gas installation, whereupon it’s given to the conman’s son who…….

You get the picture. Each story neatly segue ways into the next one as the tenner does the rounds (including an incident where is appears to go up in flames on stage) before, like a lot of things in life, it completes a circle – via greed, fraud, anger, deception, heresy, lust, violence, treachery and gluttony.

In some ways this piece is a bit like the London Underground’s Circle Line that acts as a visual backdrop in a few of the physical sketches – you wonder why it’s there and what the point of it all is. But there’s a lot more to this piece than at first meets the eye. There’s some quite acidic writing, particularly in the piece examining the inherent heresy in religion and the dance and physical theatre is inventively staged in what is rather a tight space for the twelve strong troupe. The denouement is nicely conceived and, at thirty-five minutes, the piece is just the right length. Well worth a look.