TRIALS OF MONEY

Trials of Money turns the theatre into a court of justice which does not yet exist. The show invites its audience to take part in the Special Tribunal for Semi-Human Persons in order to undertake the trial, not of a human subject, nor of a legal entity, but of a “thing”- the very complex thing which we most commonly call “money”.

Can the money we use on a daily basis, be held responsible for the desastrous state of the world today? Asking this question without irony, is the raison d’être of this theatrical performance. Trials of money challenges the idea that money is only a tool, or a means at the service of human intentions. It proposes another reading of the relationship humans have with the monetary system they have invented for themselves.

Money is a network, a set of laws and conventions, institutionalised trust, a means, an end, paper, metal, plastic cards, debt, potential, desire… The accused in this trial can be pointed out, but it also resides inside of us all. It is made of the values we assign to it; it exists and acts only through us, by proxy. How do we hold a trial if everybody in the court seems to be involved with the accused? How do we call money to answer for its acts if it cannot speak with its own voice? Trials of Money is an attempt to look at our collective responsibility as a single identifiable being.

The performance is structured around the testimonies of ten witnesses: a psychologist, an ex-banker, an employee of the Swiss National Bank, a homeless person, a rich philanthropist, a Native American, a professor of economics, an inhabitant of a kibbutz and a criminologist. The trial of money is conducted as a collective exercise that involves both the performers and the audience in examining the case. Based on interviews with a large variety of people, the performers deliver their testimonies by responding to any question the spectators might want to ask them.

Everybody present in the Special Tribunal for Semi-Human Persons freely takes the position of accusation or defense, based on their convictions and influenced by the course of the proceedings. Money is tried anew with each performance, on the charges of fraud, extortion, non-assistance to a person in danger, incitement to hatred and slavery. Should money be found guilty, it leaves us with the problematic question of what a just sentence for it could be.

 

Concept & realisation : Christophe Meierhans

Performance & co-creation: Shila Anaraki, Jochen Dehn, Luca Mattei, Christophe Meierhans, Adva Zakai

Dramaturgy: Bart Capelle

Scenography: Decoratelier Jozef Wouters

Painting: Giammarco Falcone

Light saber microphones: Alexis Pawlak, Gaia Carabillo

Costumes: Sofie Durnez, Valerie Le Roy

Light design: Luc Schaltin

Production : HIROS, Elisa Demarré

Co-production: AUAwirleben (Bern), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), BUDA (Kortrijk), FAR° (Nyon), Kaaitheater (Brussels), Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil (Paris), Teatro Maria Matos (Lisbon), Vooruit (Gent), ZonaK (Milan)

With the support of: Vlaamse Gemeenschap, ProHelvetia