Turning crises into a Drama

Students swapped their pens and laptops for the stage in order to enhance their learning experience as they study financial crises at Leicester.

Eight talented students from the School of Business performed the Shakespearean-style play "Desdemona of Cyprus: A Mediterranean Tale", written by Marcus Miller, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, and Nicholas Beale, Director of Sciteb.

The short 15-minute play was performed following the Economics seminar during which Professor Panicos Demetriades, Professor of Financial Economics in the  School of Business and former Governor of the Cyprus Central Bank, talked about his book "A Diary of the Euro Crisis in Cyprus". The book served as inspiration for Professor Miller in turning the banking crisis into an original morality play.

Panicos said: “The play is an entertaining and light-hearted way to get across some of the important economic concepts that are described and analysed in the book, including the use of bail-in to resolve failing banks without resorting to taxpayers’ money. The play highlighted the political conflicts revolving around bail-in very vividly and I am sure that it will motivate students to learn more about banking crises and to appreciate the importance of banks in the macro-economy.

“It was great to watch it being performed by our students under the direction of Marcus Miller, who also acted as narrator; and the audience certainly enjoyed the performance. I am very grateful to Marcus for suggesting the idea in the first place and for helping to make it happen, especially as he had to travel to Leicester from Warwickshire in the midst of the recent freezing weather.”

Earlier in the week, economics – and law - students volunteered to play the roles of Desdemona (a feisty small trader of Lemesos), Iago (a big-time banker of Nicosia), Ivan (an offshore investor of dirty money), Treasury Official and Governor of the Central Bank; as well as the parts of goddesses and prophets in an Epilogue.

Mathura Krishnakumaran, a second year BA Economics student, took on the role of Kassandra: “Taking part in the play was a wonderful experience and helped me to further understand the topic of the Euro Crisis. It was both an entertaining and engaging way to learn outside of lectures. I would like to thank Professor Panicos Demetriades and Professor Miller, on behalf of the cast, for giving us the opportunity to take part in the play.”

The audience included academic economists and graduate students from the School of Business. As for the performers themselves, Marcus Miller commented: “It’s fun to see how imaginatively these keen young actors interpret the written word: sometimes they can make the characters run away with a life of their own!”