Enough is Enough review at Barnabas Art House, Newport – ‘intelligent and subversive’
Director Memet Ali Alabora and playwright Meltem Arikan’s last show together for Be Aware Productions, Mi Minor, was accused by Turkish government officials of being a rehearsal for the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Istanbul. Enough is Enough is their first production since they were forced to relocate to Wales due to the hate campaign that followed.
A piece of gig theatre made up of songs interspersed with testimony, the show is about violence towards females. The cleverest thing is how it subverts expectations.
The simple way it does this is by providing a pastiche of femininity. Front woman Pinar Ogun’s frequent giggling is brutally contrasted with tales of rape shared in a gossip session as if at a slumber party. Nina Langrish’s costumes also take the paraphernalia of girlhood – patent hair clips, tulle petticoats and patterned tights – but literally rips it up.
The show also subverts by not providing the angry punk rock expected as an antidote. Grunge music reminiscent of Hole is contrasted with mournful accordion melodies and commentary on why legislation fails to change behaviour.
The Riot Grrrl movement is obviously referenced, yet the anarchy is controlled. Arikan’s script highlights the ubiquity of violence against women and girls, but also critiques actions like shouting slogans or passing laws.
Eschewing screaming makes the delivery of the message more powerful and harder to dismiss. Even the final words – “shout it all out” – are actually spoken. But whilst it doesn’t end with a bang, this is in no way a whimper.