A wonderful 4 **** review for Dry Powder at the Hampstead Theatre has been shared online by The Times today, with another 4 **** review posted on Close Up Culture. And the Mature Times knows a stylish actor when it sees one...
Aidan McArdle is superb as the desperately oily Rick. Jenny may be a “the bitch is back” stereotype, but, as played by Hayley Atwell, she is a tart, ruthless and funny. Her foil is the other founding partner, the much less merciless Seth (a very personable Tom Riley), who is just reeling in a deal with a mid-market luggage company in California.
Anna Ledwich directs with the pace of stiletto heels walking into a boardroom, tap-tap-tap. There is no let-up as we are drawn into this world (the sleek set is by Andrew D Edwards) and almost immediately fall into the trap of actually caring about luggage company employees. This is a relentless look at how capitalism works at the sharp end. It’s a Blue Planet-type examination, except for finance, and the creatures we observe are fascinating. Slick, staccato and of-the-moment, this was a guilty pleasure. The Times
The language is crisp and barbed. Initially, I had difficulty with the financial jargon, especially when Hayley Atwell was speaking. Surprisingly, I found it didn’t matter. I was totally held by the acting and the interplay between the actors. The dynamics work. The production looks smart and business-like. The set is all shards of glass and revolving mirrors. Anna Ledwich directs. Aidan McArdle is the buyer. Joseph Balderrama is the seller. Atwell and Tom Riley are the sparring advisers. Riley is a stylish actor. Mature Times
The tension between personal morality and the pursuit of wealth playes out in terse, mocking exchanges between Hayley Atwell’s hard-nosed unapologetic Jenny and Tom Riley’s more conflicted Seth. If Jenny is near sociopathic in her lack of empathy, he is starting to think about how he’d like to be remembered, and to question whether pure competition at any cost comes at a heavy price. Ham High
Quite fascinating how reviewers have perceived Tom's character Seth. Variously described as interesting, slippery, puppyish (The Art's Desk), personable, willfully optimistic, having an inflated self-image. Seems far more complex than I imagined.
The title refers not to cocaine, as some have assumed, but to available investment capital that allows these hell-for-leather moneymen (and women) to go about their business, heedless of the mere mortals who don't inhabit such heady financial climes. An often bewilderingly costumed Atwell plays Jenny, one of two private equity partners (a puppyish Tom Riley's Seth is the other) whose boss Rick is reeling from some dodgy personal PR. So this may or may not be the time to buy out a California-based suitcase company called Landmark that, Jenny argues, can be stripped bare and outsourced to Bangladesh. The marginally more enlightened Seth invokes the French Revolution by way of counter-argument and deployes phrases like "gender strength", while Andrew D Edwards's reflective set does its own dizzying dance towards the rear of the stage. The Arts Desk