Skip to main content

Enron Review

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh
3 stars
Power, sex and the money that fuel them is everything in Lucy Prebble’s impressionistic history of the spectacular collapse of one of the biggest companies in the world. But, as with any power, it’s a fragile one in this touring version of Rupert Goold’s original all-singing, all-dancing production, as greed and insider trading on a grand scale take hold. With state of the art back projections featuring archive footage from the Bill Clinton era as well as 9/11, this is really a magical-realist fable of how America’s soul got corrupted by capitalism, complete with debt-eating crocodiles.

But there’s a knowing ambiguity to proceedings, and in the portrayal of smart kids turned tough guys Jeffrey Skilling and Andy Fastow there’s almost a revenge of the nerds like situation, with Skilling believing to the last that his motives were pure. In this respect, and judging by the show’s glitzy production values and fifty-seven varieties of performance style, there’s the occasional sense that both Prebble and Goold are a little bit in awe of the sheer brass-necked audacity of those behind the sorry real-life spectacle.

While no-one’s doubting the impressive oomph in which such a complex yarn is spun,
the play’s commercial backers should take heed from their own product. Because, while Goold’s production has already crossed over into hot ticket status, it’s already starting to look a little distant, and at times its hard to get to grips with any real sense of personality among the large ensemble cast. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, after all. Just ask one of the 20,000 people who lost their jobs when Enron went to the wall.

The Herald, November 11th 2010



Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…