Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Power of Yes

‘The Power of Yes’ - David Hare – a few notes
(seen at The National Theatre’- 8th October 2009)


Powerful, eco-political drama about causes, events and consequences of so called ‘Credit Crunch’ that ended in the recent downfall or near downfall of capitalism. Hare explains how over lending of banks to customers unable to repay loans resulted in banks being without money to further finance businesses and would-be home buyers. This further led to economic recession and rise in business bankruptcy and unemployment.

Hare points finger at greedy, arrogant bankers like Fred Goodwin of Royal Bank of Scotland but also at the government for failing to regulate banks. Play uses views of key bankers, academics and financial journalists to reveal facts of this colossal failure of banking system.


Hare writes himself into the play as a researcher directing questions to key financiers, government officials at the Financial Services Association as well as academics, to unfold the facts of the collapse of banking system. No dialogue between characters and all information comes from Hare’s interviews with these key characters. This is a very efficient and effective way of sharing the information with audience.

Economic and financial jargon unavoidable but certain terms such as sub-prime markets were explained at key points in story. Use of graphics revealing names of ‘Northern Rock’ and photos of Goodwin and others, assisted in conveying the potentially difficult subject matter to audience.


1) Arrogant, greedy and incompetent bankers have got a lot to answer for
2) National government and departments such as FSA also to blame for lack of regulation
3) Markets can fail and innocent people not bankers pay price

without interval too long
2) Dialogue too hard to follow. People without background understanding of financial economics might find difficult to grasp


  1. These are really interesting notes on the play Sarah. I really enjoyed it myself, but more as an interactive lesson on the economic collapse than a piece of theatre. I found the last scene, which actually had a set, very interesting. 'The people who end up paying are never the people who get the benefits.'

  2. The play had a real impact on me as it made me very angry as I only realised what the credit crunch and who was to blame due to this play. It really made me think and I guess that Hare wanted to do that so as much as it confused me I found it very revealing and learnt a lot.