“The play has become a massive passion project for everyone” Photo by Alicia Powell with permission for Varsity

The largest corporate bankruptcy is set to the stage. Enron “features the meteoric rise and fall of the energy company” and shows how the company’s President, Jeff Skilling, “pulls his employees into his cult of personality,” says Assistant Director, Jake Fenton. But, do numbers really belong on the stage? Jake believes that the stage is the perfect setting to show how “as the company’s success grows the gap between perception and reality starts to collapse, everyone deals with the catastrophic fallout.” Enron is about the people behind the numbers, and how individual success can rise and fall as quickly as the market.

“See how easy it is to believe in Jeff Skilling, and the fallacy in doing so”

Jake aims to expose the “hero-worship and toxic work culture that can be found in many workplaces today,” in Enron and convey “how everyone is susceptible to some sort of grift.” No matter if you’re the smartest person in every room, Jake wants the audience to “see how easy it is to believe in Jeff Skilling, and the fallacy in doing so.” He wants the audience’s “reactions to mirror those of the Enron employees,” and show how easy it is to be fooled by a corporate veneer of glory.

Commenting on how he hopes a real-life crisis will transpire as a play, Jake explained that it was important for him to “portray the difference between those ‘in’ the bubble, and those ‘out’ of it.” With a phrase often used to describe life as a Cambridge student, Jake continues, “as reality causes this bubble to burst, I think we do see those involved exposed to the consequences of their own actions.” However, he also emphasises: “it is for the audience to decide if they are truly sorry.” The collapse of Enron “affected tens of thousands of employees and sent ripples throughout the world” as “people lost their pensions and security all through the greed of a few.” It is for this reason that Jake hopes the audience will feel the pathos present in this economic scheme, and question the role of the ‘big dogs’ in the workplace.

“As reality causes this bubble to burst, I think we do see those involved exposed to the consequences of their own actions”

In terms of producing Enron, Amy Oh emphasised: “getting together this incredibly talented crew” has been a highlight. She shared: “Reading everyone’s crazy creative ideas on their applications brought a huge smile on my face,” and claimed that she had “never seen such passion (and love for raptors) conveyed on a Google form.” Amy also said commended “Alicia’s amazing job of creating vintage, money-themed, publicity” but also highlighted: “The biggest challenge has been ensuring that the non-naturalistic elements of the text work as a cohesive whole.” However, this, in turn, also became “the most rewarding experience,” and Amy loved to “rework and focus on the scenes that use a combination of physical theatre, puppetry, and non-naturalistic staging to get it right.”

“The play has become a massive passion project for everyone” adds Erin Visaya-Neville, who plays Claudia Roe. Erin emphasises that the cast has had their “Enron laughs, Enron stresses, but ultimately it’s all Enron love.” Speaking on his character Jeff Skilling, Owen Igiehon also indicates that his “character assumes he’s better and smarter than everyone: he takes pleasure in exploiting what he perceives as stupidity in other people, but also blames any and every setback on that same stupidity.” Portrayed as a tragic hero, Owen claims his character is “a man so good at lying that he’s even managed to convince himself that he’s everything he’s cracked up to be.”


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Mark Jones, who plays Raptor, commented that he “wasn’t sure how to approach the role—there is only a certain amount of embodiment you can commit to when you are acting as a prehistoric creature in a modern world.” For Mark, becoming a raptor involved “shifting [his] hands into claws, dropping back onto [his] knees so they are almost concave, shifting [his] head upwards and forwards, and shivering at the touch of another person’s hand.” He hopes that, for the performance, the audience might suspend their disbelief in full, and commit to seeing reports as more than people.”

Described as “intense and pathetically tragic” by Owen, Jake believes Enron is “an incredible story that shows how far belief takes you, and what happens when it fails.” In this play: “Spectacle is intertwined with a collection of unlikable characters who you can’t stop watching.”

Enron is on at the ADC Theatre at 7:45 pm from Tue 10th – Sat 14th May