Probably mercifully for some, I am approaching the end of my time at St Andrews and thus the end of my time with student journalism. I couldn’t leave without reviewing just one more thing… complete with every cardinal sin, the mere mention of which should send all editors into shivers. From weak cliché to offsetting via wanton abuse of the semi-colon: I’ve seen and despaired over it all. It’s good to be a student critic.
Dir. Joseph Cunningham
As I walked into the theatre, I was amazed at how cavernous Venue 1 was. Venue 1 is where acoustics go to die I was not looking forward to ear-straining. But the audience was left surprised and astounded. The floor was filled with three people wearing ears and glasses and carrying sticks to represent the blind mice which were supposed to be the board of the company. Such was my entrance to Joseph Cunningham’s ENRON; and I was not to be disappointed. I don’t usually like big plays, and plays that involve walking, but I was surprised by the direction; and acting, and lighting; and sound.
The plot is about Jeffrey Skilling, the CEO of ENRON who rises to the top of the company, and commits fraud that makes the company fail. He has a sort-of relationship with Claudia Roe but I thought there could have been more of this to make him more believable. There are many sub-plots including a very funny one with the CFO Andy Fastow who hides the finances in Raptors which represent hidden files where the money is hidden in. Much has been made of the ‘dancing velociraptors’ in their publicity material and the audience thought they were amazing. They could have been bad; but they were very good. The acting was excellent. Baxter Gaston as Jeffrey Skilling was so good that I almost thought he was Skilling Everyone knew their lines well; and they stood in the right places all the time. The audience thought that they could be louder, though, because Venue 1 is so big and it is where acoustics go to die. But volume aside everyone was very good and my favourite.
The performance was done in promenade which meant the audience had to walk around and see scenes in different places which was novel. This worked very well apart from the times when I couldn’t see. I thought that the scenes that were off to the side should have been on stage with the other scenes so I could see everything. It meant that some people got different experiences to other people. This is good but the audience would prefer to see it the same as everyone.
The tech was excellent. The lighting was interesting it reflected what was going on on-stage, and emphasised it. This is everything student theatre should be because it was the best thing I have seen in St Andrews and I have seen upwards of three plays.
ENRON is an absolute must-see, even though the run is finished. I was left thinking about the show; and it was well worth the price of a ticket.