It's time for my review of The Lehman Trilogy.
Beginning in 1844, The Lehman Trilogy charts the formation of the Lehman Brothers bank, as a young man from Bavaria with a big dream made a splash in New York with the help of his two brothers. From here, the play skips through 163 years of banking history, and tells of the establishment of the bank, and its doomed fate which led to the biggest global financial collapse in history, affecting each and every one of us.
The tale of The Lehman Trilogy is a truly fascinating one. The play begins with three young brothers, who have only recently immigrated to the United States of America and have very little to their name. They had very humble beginnings, and despite the odds not being in their favour, the three Lehman's were able to create a successful small business that flourished soon after being founded. The Lehman Brothers business went bankrupt when I was at a fairly young age, and as a consequence I knew very little about this company prior to seeing the play. Thanks to the detailed and insightful storytelling of the show, however, I have now gained a vast amount of knowledge regarding this particular topic. New knowledge is always welcome, and especially when it is presented in such an intriguing manner. I also admired the way in which various elements of American history were seamlessly integrated into the lives of the leading characters. Throughout the course of the show, the story takes place against the backdrop of events such as the American Civil War and the Great Depression. As a result, The Lehman Trilogy not only provides historical presentations on personal matters, but also national matters as well. The play stands at a grand total of three and a half hours, but despite its long running time, the time flies by. With the exception of the final 20 minutes, the show retains its momentum and fast pace throughout, thus ensuring that the show does not feel overly prolonged.
The Lehman Trilogy is directed by Sam Mendes, who recently garnered both Olivier and Tony Awards for his extraordinary work on The Ferryman. Mendes is, clearly, exceptionally talented and I believe that The Lehman Trilogy stands as testament to that claim. He has made a number of bold decisions with this production, particularly with choosing to feature only three actors. All of these decisions have paid off, however, and it is an excellently staged production. The scenic design, by Es Devlin was also outstanding, cleverly taking the approach that 'less is more'. The revolving office scenery felt very life-like, helping to make the play feel ever more realistic. The set is complimented nicely by sensational video designs played across the back of the stage, created by Luke Halls. The projections show the changing landscape of America throughout this extended period of time, which was both effective and interesting to look at. I particularly admired the colourful screen projections that were used during the nightmare sequences, which was incredible to witness. In regards to creative aspects, I would also like to add that the inclusion of music, performed by a live pianist, was a welcome addition and worked well in serving the tone of the play.
Now for my final verdict on The Lehman Trilogy. I give The Lehman Trilogy...
The Lehman Trilogy is an outstanding play, which is largely as a result of its three actors. Beale, Godley and Miles give phenomenal performances, and the amount of versatility shown was quite something.
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