Paul Johnson | 25 Sep 2019 10:20am
The programme for Putney Theatre Company’s welcome revival of Lucy Prebble’s decade-old Enron promises “an immersive experience that will shock, seduce and enthral” and while the lack of anything even remotely approaching immersion is disappointing, it has to be conceded that such mis-selling is very much in keeping with the play’s subject, the financial matryoshka doll that was the Enron Corporation.
As the lights fade in Putney Arts Theatre and Enron begins, any concerns that the play might have passed its sell-by date are quickly dispelled – so skilful is Prebble’s script that her exposition of “how the world really works” now seems timeless, a crystal-clear history lesson in corruption.
Among the cast, Lucas Pozzey is superb, utterly convincing as Jeffrey Skilling, the “creative” force behind Enron’s rollercoaster rise and fall. Pozzey is complemented by Kendal Barrett’s ruthlessly smart Claudia Roe, the closest thing that Prebble could find to a hero in this story of capitalism at its worst. Barrett and Pozzey work well together, and there are palpable sparks as their characters’ relationship shifts and changes; Barrett in particular has excellent comic timing and drops her punchlines perfectly. As Andy Fastow, the wizard behind Enron’s ingenious finances, Michael Maitland-Jones takes a little time to get into his role but he comes alive in the second act as he loses control of the situation that he has created.
Alongside the main cast there is a well-drilled, well-costumed, 12-strong gender-blind ensemble among whom three actors are outstanding: Sarah Perkins as a ferociously foul-mouthed energy trader; Zuzanna Sparicova as Skilling’s daughter, and Adam Moulder who pretty much steals the show with every word and every glance – I would love to see him tackle Howard Beale – and his Lehman Brothers routine with Johnny Francis is simply hilarious.
The direction by Karl Falconer and Zoe Thomas-Webb is fast-moving though the transitions are sometimes overlong and the technical side is a little lacking: the sound is sometimes misplaced and too low; and the lighting is sometimes a step behind the action. But these are minor concerns, easily addressed. Putney Theatre Company rarely disappoints and their new production of Lucy Prebble’s blistering Enron is highly recommended.
- : admin
- : 24/09/2019