Cast: Philip Martin Brown, Christopher Chilton, Rob Delaney, Richard Gittins, Daniel Pape, Sian Reese-Williams, Vanessa Rosenthal, Marlene Sidaway, Samuel Baxter, Lawrence Guntert, Alex James McLeod, Shadan Noori, Jacob Philips, Liam Robbins
Director: James Brining
Writer: Alan Bennett
Theatre: West Yorkshire Playhouse
Duration: 150 minutes
Start Date: May 19, 2014
End Date: June 7, 2014
Enjoy opened in 1980, fated to become Alan Bennett’s singular flop at the time. Over thirty years later, the infamously experimental show launches a new season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in honour of the Leeds-born writer.
Set in the early Eighties, Enjoy traces the effect of council housing redevelopment in one of the few remaining back-to-back red brick terraces in Leeds. The tenants, Mam and Dad, are chosen to be documented during the transitional process by the mysterious Ms Craig from the council. As a normal day gives way to extraordinary events, the world of Mam, Dad and their offspring becomes emblazoned in a social media whirlwind of experimentation, extortion and exploitation.
It is clear to see why an early Eighties’ audience rejected the wild ideas which Enjoy presents. The media machine which governs so many social habits of a new generation, such as Big Brother and Vlogging through YouTube, are staples of modern entertainment. The concepts of fly-on-the-wall documentaries and live feeds from people’s homes are commonplace forms of entertainment today. In 1980, however, things were very different. Television boasted three channels, documentaries were educational, news was functionally informative, and drama was just that. Enjoy not only blurs the lines of these standards, it blends them together into the horror we now recognise as reality television.
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