Harrogate Dramatic Society prepare for curtain up on imaginative play - Enron
The curtain goes up next week on one of the most innovative and imaginative productions to be staged by Harrogate Dramatic Society.
It’s the story of the rise and fall of the Texan energy giant Enron in the 1990s. The dramatic collapse of the company affected thousands of employees and continues to reverberate today as a reckless example of corporate greed.
At the company’s peak Enron’s shares were worth $90.75. When the company declared bankruptcy, they were trading at $0.26.
To this day the financial world is incredulous that such a powerful business could have disintegrated almost overnight and that regulators could have been fooled for so long with fake holdings and manipulated accounting.
The scandal is turned into a play by Lucy Prebble, an outstanding example of how a skilled writer can transform obscure financial concepts and practices into totally understandable and audience-friendly entertainment without overlooking the farcical aspect of the episode.
Four actors playing ultimately doomed leading executives enact the now infamous narrative with support from a wide range of characters played by only seven actors. Look out for a multi-talented cast of lawyers, reporters, traders, senators, police officers, strippers and monsters.
The four lead actors, Chris Rawson, Arthur Timmins, Emma Towning and Elliot Matthews effortlessly steer the audience through the questionable accounting tactics which led to the company’s and their own demise.
Enron’s financial losses of the trading business and other operations were hidden using what’s known as mark-to-market accounting )– measuring the value of a security based on its current market value instead of its book value.
The company would build an asset and then claim the projected profit on its books, even though the company had made nothing from the asset. If the revenue from the project was less than the projected amount – instead of taking a loss – the company transferred the asset to an off-the-books corporation where the loss would go unreported.
Enron, directed by Tony Fennerty, opens on Wednesday January 22 and runs until Saturday January 25, daily at 7.45pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm.
Tickets are available on-line at www.harrogatetheatre.com or from the box office: 01423 502116.