The world premiere of Lucy Prebble’s new play about the development of sharp practices which eventually brought about the demise of the Enron Corporation is a piece of very tight writing which has been remarkably staged by director Rupert Goold. The production features music, with singing, significant and quite splendid movement choreographed by Scott Ambler and effective video as part of the story-telling – all giving a telling clarity to the production.
The play looks at the roles and responsibilities of the main characters and the tensions which existed within the company as well as the blind faith that it created – a faith to be destroyed with the revelation of the chicanery and emptiness of everything in which people had come to believe. But in today’s financial crisis, the story has a deeper significance.
Tim Piggott-Smith as company chairman Ken Lay proves the epitome of the sharp-talker who relies upon his contacts to smooth the way for the company. Samuel West gives an sensitive yet spirited performance as the ideas man Jeffrey Skilling, whose theoretical concepts are divorced from reality and who is putty in the hands of finance officer Andy Fastow, a devious character as portrayed by Tom Goodman-Hill. Amanda Drew is a very smart Claudia Row, who opposes the direction the company is taking under Skilling. A truly ensemble piece to which Eleanor Matsuura, Susannah Fellows and Gillian Budd all significantly contribute.
Splendidly staged and well worth a visit.