Posted by Erica Wallis, Youth Theatre member and dramaturg for Enron
This year’s Youth Theatre main-stage production is Enron and last month some of us enjoyed a day out in London to research and understand more about the world that Enron occupies. The day included a chance to observe the trading floor of the London Metal Exchange, see a show in the West End, and ended with an opportunity for us all to meet the playwright of Enron, Lucy Prebble.
Visiting the London Metal Exchange
The day started with a visit to the London Metal Exchange which, interestingly, was also visited by the original company performing Enron. Here there was an opportunity to watch the traders at work; a very useful experience as it gave the cast insight into the world of the trading floor, one cast member said, “It has been so useful going to observe the kinds of people we will be portraying in Enron”.
This was an excellent chance for us all to pick up details which will be vital for characterisation, such as the different hand signals traders use to indicate whether they wish to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ shares. The whole cast agreed that it was generally an extremely interesting experience. Outside the Metal Exchange, two ‘big shot’ traders were able to spare some of their time to talk to the cast, explaining how the industry was a place for very big personalities. A cast member commented that this was a great opportunity for “providing me with great ideas for the sorts of characters I need to be creating”.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
After visiting the Metal Exchange, there was an opportunity to wander around the business centre of London and observe the physicality and impersonation of the business people we saw before getting to the Apollo Theatre in the West End to watch a production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. After a run at the National Theatre, the production moved to the Apollo as it was so successful. The lead actor, Luke Gibbon, was very impressive and the production as a whole inspired the cast as there were many captivating and physical moments.
Meeting Lucy Prebble
The final part of the day included meeting the Enron playwright over dinner. It was very important for the cast to meet Lucy and it’s fair to say that everyone was really excited for this final part of the day! One person commented to me that she was “so supportive of us and easy to talk to”. The play is potentially confusing for some of us as there are a lot of business concepts and terms to understand, but as one cast member said, meeting with Lucy “really helped me with the understanding of the world of Enron”. This meeting gave a valuable ending to a really engaging and enjoyable day.
A brilliant day
This trip to London was, as one person said ‘a brilliant day’ and ‘another fantastic Playhouse experience’. It provided the cast with some really useful research material and perception of the play, as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable day out and a great bonding opportunity for the company.
Such a great experience and I went home with a lot to think about and a lot to live up to
— Cast member
Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Enron, 8-10 August. For more information click here.
See some of our photos from the day in the gallery at the top of the page, on the left.