Enjoy at New Theatre, Cardiff.
Directed by Christopher Luscombe

I can’t decide if Alan Bennett’s Enjoy is a comedy or tragedy.

Although the play’s first half presents an amusingly clichéd portrayal of an old-fashioned, working class Yorkshire family, the second half deconstructs both the notion of the typical working class family and its dramatic portrayal.

The superficiality of theatre is revealed when the set is removed, leaving only the protagonists on stage – who are no longer farcical characters, but vulnerable people.

Along with Bennett’s writing; Alison Steadman, David Troughton and Josie Walker’s cracking performances made me reflect on the effect of a generation who ran from taboos, such as homosexuality and domestic abuse.

The comedic element of Enjoy covers the darker side of human nature. Black comedy is a deceptive tool, which can strike a stronger chord than a straight play. On realising I’d been laughing at the character’s tragic lives, I felt sadness and pity, but also guilt.

Tues 30 September- Sat 4 October. Times and Prices vary.


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