World Factory, Young Vic, review: a fun, interactive project that presents uneasy facts about the global textile industry

Audience gets lesson in factory floor life

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The Independent Culture

This engaging project from Company of Angels and political theatre group METIS presents uneasy facts about the global textile industry in the form of an interactive Monopoly-style game.

In a breeze block-built room, the audience is divided into teams and tasked with running an imaginary factory in China for one year. Equipped only with a file of Chinese workers’ profiles, fake money and playing cards with a choice of two options per card, the teams face dilemmas like whether they should pay below the living wage or cut staff to save money.

Digital projections on each wall show real factory footage and interviews with textile factory workers while the “game” takes place. Four actors play several roles, interacting with the teams and acting as factory managers and offering a potted history of how we became a global consumerist society, with enough fun interaction to stop this feeling like a lecture.

As the consequences of the teams’ decisions are revealed, we see how difficult it is to make clothes in a way that benefits consumers, workers and the planet.

To 6 June, 020 7922 2922; youngvic.org

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