ENRON tells the unbelievable and true story of the collapse of one of Wall's Street biggest financial giants. We caught up with the Director, NEVE KENNEDY, to find out more about the process of bringing this show to life.
What should an audience expect from Enron?
The audience should expect a complete spectacle. The joy of this show is that it seems to take place in two bubbles of fantasy and reality all at once. When we are in the realm of realism the show is poignant, heart-warming, heart-breaking and powerful but when we move into some of the slightly more wacky sections it takes us on this incredible roller coaster through raptors, ventriloquism, physical theatre and, as one cast member so aptly described it, the ‘coke-fuelled fever dream of the trading floor’. It truly has something for everyone and will hopefully keep the audience well and truly entertained.
What has it been like directing and acting in a show that is based on real-life events?
It has actually been so much fun to play with how we portray people who are quite frankly guilty, unpopular real-life figures while still wanting to represent characters that an audience can relate to, empathise with, and care for. We have definitely gone as far as we can in both directions with how we have chosen to portray the real people. While some characters are a far cry from their real-life counterparts (our Lehman Brothers may or may not have become our own version of frat boy Lehman “Bros”), other actors are genuinely impressively recognisable in their portrayal of the individual. From the opening monologue we are told that the events that unfold could never be told “exactly as they occurred” and I think it’s been really nice to have the artistic licence to do justice to a true story but also be at liberty to tell it in our own way.
How have rehearsals been coming along?
Rehearsals have been genuinely such a joy. To have a cast of actors who are as passionate about this show as me (who is unashamedly obsessed with the script) has been incredible to say the least. We have really naturally bonded as a group which has made the whole process truly a pleasure. We are aware the stressful part of the rehearsal process is quite definitely still to come with opening night slowly but surely creeping up on us but I’m so excited to see our work in rehearsals come to life!
Without spoiling too much, what is your favourite part of the show?
I think my favourite part has to be when we really see the company that seemed to only succeed and thrive collapse almost just as quickly as it grew. (Promise that is not a spoiler… this is literally the story of Enron!) The play was intentionally written to read like a classical 5-act Shakespearean tragedy and like any good tragedy it really starts to get interesting when things start to fall apart. Not only is this represented through some mind-blowing acting performances but also by the set, music, ensemble and costume which has been so much fun to create.