Enron was a West End show that I’d been very much looking forward to, especially given all of the hype surrounding it. However having just seen the show this evening, I can only say how down-right disappointed that I was with it.
Working in accountancy (and so affected by this story every day) and with a huge passion for theatre, this should have been right up my street, however I found the production to be lacklustre, incoherent and rather confused. There were random bits of dance, a soundtrack that was blaring out too loudly one minute and then clumsily turned down the next and only the occasional crass joke thrown in which only raised a smattering of chuckles from the House. Painful would be a good word to describe my experience.
In terms of the characters, I didn’t particularly feel any kind of pathos towards the fate of any of them (for better or worse) and the delayed applause at the end of both acts was excruciating as people tried to work out whether it was time to applaud or not.
I should point out that many people in the West End have loved this production – to the point where it has even won awards and been hailed as being critically marvellous. That said the Broadway version of the show closed after just 15 performances. At first I thought it was just the American’s being prudish (after all, would we like them to create Northern Rock, The Musical?!) however, having now seen the production here in London, I am not at all surprised that it simply just didn’t cut it on Broadway.
My partner Greg on the other hand found it really enjoyable and informative. By his own admission, he’s not normally a Finance-y type, but this play managed to engage his interest and explain the basics of the scandal and ‘special purpose entities’ to him, and so he seems to have come away from Enron with a differing view than I have.
If I were to be blunt, I simply can not fathom what this show has that would make people choose to go see this over something/everything else in the West End given the huge array of glitz and drama that we currently have on offer – I didn’t see the attraction, and perhaps that is why this has failed to impress me.
Only one main regret this evening – when the cast had exited the stage and the audience finished clapping, and suddenly went unexpectedly silent, I very audibly said “well, what a load of absolute twaddle” – LOL. I could have died of embarrassment!
I would love to be able to offer some constructive criticism on what I’d like to see changed, however for me there was just so much that I disliked that I’m now struggling to see past the full picture.
Definitely not a show for me, but do search around for more reviews of the production, as my dislike of it seems to be part of a very minority opinion here in the West End!
Enron is currently playing at the Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane until Saturday 14th August 2010. For more information and for tickets, please click here.