When Enough is Never Enough

This is the Monday Line (on Wednesday)
by Denis G. Campbell

Last Saturday more than 3 million women and men joined marches in 600+ cities for women’s rights. Last night in Newport, South Wales, four women raised their voices in anger, passion and song in a new play/musical/readings by the acclaimed playwright Meltem Arikan. Enough is Enough is presented as a combination rock band gig and story-telling hour plus, the audience is constantly triggered by the deeply personal stories told and sung by each character.

Both the women in the marches and this cast were there to raise the very real potential of a backward step regarding the equality of women in the workplace and… life itself. They touched on the very deep pain felt but suppressed by words and actions in a patriarchal society that essentially ignores or treats women and girls as weak, sexual objects. There was nothing weak about this cast of very strong women.

Pinar Ogun, an accomplished veteran of screen, stage, BBC dramas, joined Musical Director Maddie Jones, Francesca Dimech and Emma Daman Thomas in a powerful evening of stories, songs and dark humour. It opened last night in the Barnabas Art House in Newport, beginning a 23-city tour of Wales sponsored by Arts Council Wales, The Welsh Government and The National Lottery. It was produced by BeAware productions who are artists in residence at Chapter Arts in Cardiff.

The basement cabaret stage was starkly lit by director Memet Ali Alibora with alternating silhouettes of green and red. Maddie Jones’ music was at times haunting, lyrical and at other times ragged and raw as these women’s stories unfolded. At first the sound mixing seemed harsh, but then you realised it was entirely fit for purpose… to jar and awaken the audience’s core fears and memories. The show ends on a hauntingly dissonant but beautiful song that surprises everyone when the lights come up and the cast take their bows.

Enough is Enough then has an optional, but very important ‘Shout it Out’ session to share and discuss impressions with the cast and playwright using the theme, ‘oh that doesn’t happen here, it happens in the East.’ As Ms. Arikan explained, that was a reference to the days when the show was presented without music as a series of women’s readings in Amsterdam, Germany, Switzerland and Istanbul. The music completes these powerful stories. And tonight’s audience was under no such impression that this happens anywhere else but right here.

The show hits anyone who has ever been the target of abuse, regardless of gender, like a ton of bricks. Others, it awakened to the times they saw… but did not really see or could not act when this happened to friends, family or co-workers. Several audience members, including this writer were confronted with past incidents and filled with emotion.

I asked the cast during the Shout Out, why they chose not to end like most musicals on a hopeful uplifting note? As they explained the arc of their stories, Ms. Arikan was insistent that the show leave the audience unsettled and ready for action.

Mission Accomplished.

 

Enough is Enough tours Wales through February

26 Jan   Theatr Clwyd , Mold, Wales

27 Jan   Monty Club, Newtown, Wales

28 Jan   Town Hall,  Welshpool,  Wales

30 Jan   The Little Theatre, Rhyl, Wales

01 Feb   Neuadd Ogwen, Bangor – Bethesda, Wales

03 Feb   The Ucheldre, Anglesey – Holyhead, Wales

04 Feb   Bar 46, Aberystwyth, Wales

05 Feb   Magic Lantern, Tywyn,  Wales

06 Feb   The Guildhall – Great Hall, Cardigan Wales

08 Feb   Victoria Hall , Lampater, Wales

09 Feb   Taibach Rugby Club, Port Talbot, Wales

10 Feb   The Arts Wing, Swansea, Wales

11 Feb   The Queen’s Hall, Narberth, Wales

12 Feb   The Parrot, Carmarthen, Wales

15 Feb   Ebbw Vale Institute, The Valleys – Ebbw Vale, Wales

16 Feb   Con Club, The Valleys – Aberdare, Wales

17 Feb   Theatr Soar , The Valleys – Merthyr Tydfil , Wales

18 Feb   Memo, The Valleys – New Bridge, Wales

19 Feb   Clwb y Bont – The Valleys – Pontypridd, Wales

08 Apr   Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Wales

 

Tickets and information: +44 (0) 2921961261

info@beawareproductions.com

Denis G Campbell View more

Denis G Campbell
Denis G. Campbell is founder and editor of UK Progressive magazine and co-host of The Three Muckrakers podcast. He is the author of 7 books and provides Americas, EU and Middle Eastern commentary to the BBC, itv, Al Jazeera English, CNN, CRI, MSNBC and others. He is CEO of Monknash Media and a principal with B2E Consulting in London. You can follow him on Twitter @UKProgressive and on Facebook.

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