Sara Juli poses an interesting question in her show The Money Conversation? Would you take her money? She has $5000 cash that she reveals throughout the show, offering it to audience members in intimate ways. She lies across people’s laps, invites them to take bills from her bra and pants, holds money in her toes and involves prospective recipients in games of cat and mouse before surrendering $50 notes. She dishes out cold hard honest cash and there is every chance that the receivers may take it home with them rather than return it to the large deposit box on the way out the theatre.
There is not a lot of action in this show, but it’s strangely compelling. Juli counts her money, rolls in money, speaks gibberish and performs a few dance sequences in between her monetary offerings. There’s not any music and the audience sits around her on three sides. She’s a friendly and endearing subject, not too flashy or fancy, just a woman being herself. She asks us what certain amounts of money would buy, creating some interesting discussion with the audience and bringing up the question of what money is worth and how much do we actually value it. It’s a question that we don’t think about too often and one that everyone will have a different take on. To one audience member, $200 was four ecstasy tablets; to another it was a speeding fine and to yet another it was the cost of an old, second-hand computer. She tells us what the money buys in America and some of those statistics are frightening.
It seemed like most of the audience at my show returned Juli’s money. (Perhaps the plastic money bags inserted into the programs were a subtle hint.) But it must have been a tough call for the person to whom she gave $300. Even more so for the man who, at the end of the show, got all the remaining cash on stage, totaling more than $4000.
Luckily for Juli and the continued lifespan of her show, most people play along nicely.
It’s hopeful to think that maybe money isn’t everything after all!
Arts House presents
Sara Juli’s The Money Conversation
Venue: Arts House, Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne
Dates: Tuesday 25 - Sunday 30 September, Monday - Saturday 8pm; Sunday 7pm
Tickets: Full $20 / Concession $15 / Preview $15
Bookings: easytix.com.au/artshouse or (03) 9639 0096