BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe’s top politicians and policymakers will need an extra-thick skin this Friday when an irreverent musical turns up on the doorstep to thumb its nose at the embattled euro.
Narrated by an umbrella-toting, finance-savvy Briton, “EuroCrash!” depicts the single European currency’s founders - former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former French President Francois Mitterrand - as a mad couple who enchant wayward countries into joining their “family” in a gingerbread house.
Decor is sparse and live music limited to a piano, but the message the six-strong troupe will take to the European Central Bank’s home city of Frankfurt with just over an hour of song and dance is clear -- the euro was doomed from the start.
While a gregarious Kohl and a seductive female incarnation of Mitterrand try to teach their “children” discipline, bad boys Ireland, Greece and Spain busy themselves with individual delusions of grandeur: housing booms, early retirement, and world financial domination.
“But there’s no going back from the euro,” they sing as their plans crumble. “Regardless of who’s getting poorer.”
The slapstick show wheels out various protagonists of the euro zone debt crisis that left one Berlin audience laughing aloud, giggling at an oompah homage to the Bundesbank and an appearance by U.S. ratings agencies dressed as cowboy yodelers.
It also contains a trove of insider jokes for euro history buffs: a dance of the “currency snake,” references to ECB leadership struggles, and Britain’s 1992 crash out of the euro’s precursor, the exchange rate mechanism.
It remains to be seen whether the theatrical reverence for the German mark and its victory over the euro will resound with audiences beyond euro-nerds, but writer David Shirreff already has his sights set on Brussels and possibly Athens.
A Berlin-based foreign correspondent, Shirreff insists the show is not prophetic and he does not want the currency to fail, despite lamenting what he calls the euro’s poor groundwork.
“The show’s a warning -- but I’m sure it will all be fine now, especially with Angela in charge,” he said, referring to current German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership in fighting the crisis.
The show will play at Frankfurt’s House of Finance from January 27 to 29th, before heading to London in February. Tickets are available at www.frankfurt-ticket.de
Writing by Brian Rohan
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