Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Voysey Inheritance

Pyramid schemes have been around for a long time. Harley Grainville-Barker wrote The Voysey Inheritance in 1905, which involved a Pyramid scheme.

Mr. Voysey was the solicitor, who was the head of a trust and estate law firm. He was bring his son, Edward, into the firm. The young man was surprised by the state of the firm. A lot of the money that had been been invested into the firm was not where it should be. Mr. Voysey explained that he was moving the money around from account to account so no one was loosing any money. He was also taking money from the accounts for the family. He assures Edward that everything was fine.

However, Mr Voysey suddenly died. Edward was then the head of the firm and family. He wanted to come clean about the state of the firm. The family was split about the proper course: one group of the family were breaking away from the family and were not concerned about the money, while the other part was afraid that they loose their lifestyle. Edward decided that he has to try to fix matter. There were too many small accounts that would be hurt, if he does not try.

As time goes along, Edward was able to fund the smaller accounts. At this time, though, George Booth, the firms largest investor, discovers the state of the firm, and the reason for it. He will not take matters to the authorities, if Edward gives him his money immediately. This would mean that Edward would have to take the money from the other smaller accounts to accomplish. How is Edward going to save the firm or more importantly the money of the other accounts in the firm?

It is interesting that this play sounds so current. The costumes are Edwardian, but the situations and attitudes are modern. Somethings are timeless.

Sam Gregory was able to carry the play as Edward. John Hutton as Edward's brother, Major Booth Voysey, was not blustery enough for a retired British major. the rest of the cast carried their parts well. The performance was an enjoyable evening.

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