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Theatre review: Dry Powder

A ruthless asset-stripper is centre stage

Dry Powder, Hampstead Theatre

    Tom Riley (Seth) and Hayley Atwell (Jenny) in Dry Powder (Photo: Facebook/Hampstead Theatre)
    Tom Riley (Seth) and Hayley Atwell (Jenny) in Dry Powder (Photo: Facebook/Hampstead Theatre)

    This fast-talking comedy about high-finance by American writer Sarah Burgess skates entertainingly over big issues, without ever digging deeply into them.

    Set in a New York office, Burgess imagines what happens if these most ruthless of capitalists have, or have to pretend to have, a conscience. Hayley Atwell is completely convincing as the emotionally stunted asset-stripper of a private equity firm. Less so is her rival Seth (although well played by Tom Riley) who attempts to protect the jobs of the firm whose acquisition he had brokered for their boss Rick (Aiden McArdle), a ruthless deal-maker. Still, if the conflict between Rick and Atwell’s Jenny has the whiff of artifice, it results in some of the sparkiest dialogue currently around. And Atwell has all the empathy of a raptor on the hunt.

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