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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

ends

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