IT is the historic building at the heart of the Capital which has found itself at the centre of a spate of recent scandals.
So expecting an audience to turn out for a Fringe show in the City Chambers without any actors, or even a script, sounds like the ultimate cruel con trick.
But the offer being made comes with a twist – as audience members will spend the entire show debating what to spend their own cash on.
Participants in The Money, who will pay a minimum of £10 a head to play an active role in the show, will have two hours to come to a unanimous decision while sitting around a bare table in the main council chamber. If the “benefactors” fail in front of the full glare of their fellow audience members the money they have placed on the table will roll over to the next performance.
The stakes can be increased if any of the “silent witnesses” decide they want to take part – by ringing a bell.
Just 50 tickets will be available for each performance of the show, created by Exeter-based theatre company Kaleider and will be staged as part of a British Council showcase in Edinburgh. It was conceived by artistic director Seth Honnor, who tested it out on a group of friends in a caravan.
Emily Williams, senior producer with Kaleider, said The Money will offer a chance to “get a real insight into a microcosm of society and how people behave”.
She has urged potential ticket-buyers to avoid reading about previous performances, including a one-off show in the House of Commons.
Ms Williams said: “At the point of buying a ticket you’re given a choice to either be a benefactor or a silent witness. We have a maximum of 15 benefactors to begin with, who are sat down in the middle of the room and are then given the rules of the game.
“A maximum of 35 silent witnesses will be sat on either side of the table so it will be set out a bit like a council meeting. It’s very important for us to do the show in places of civic decision-making, both past and present.”