Financial problems are nothing new

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DUNDEE College HND acting and performance students are highlighting how the problems of today’s financial world are nothing new by taking a deep dark look at high finance around 300 years ago.

A group of 17 students are involved with a production of David Greig’s, The Speculator, which is set in Paris in 1720; it revolves around the real historical events involving John Law, a Scots banker who, though largely forgotten, is credited with introducing paper money to Europe’s banking system. The students researched this fascinating character who, by some estimates, was the richest man in the world!

“This is a really interesting play which, being largely concerned with financial collapse in 18th century France has clear resonances with the difficult economic times in which we now live,” said lecturer Jane Hensey, director.

“We were fascinated to discover that a Scot, John Law, was held largely responsible for the collapse in France, and that despite the fact that at one point he was deemed to be the richest man in the world he is not a figure who is often referred to in Scottish history or economics classes. David Greig is a contemporary Scottish playwright whose work appeals very much to young people and the language and style of the play has a curious blend of the old and the new. We hope the production will educate as well as entertain and the audience might enjoy the strangeness of the collision, and mark the disturbing parallels, between two worlds.” The Speculator runs from Thursday-Saturday, March 28-30, curtain 7.15 p.m. Tickets are free on the door on the evening, subject to availability.