Written and animated by the alleged French “polymath” François Sarhan, Enough Already incorporates live music, theatre and film in a frustratingly pretentious, paralysingly dull and dangerously tedious farrago that has the air of the Emperor’s New Clothes in both its form and intent. Seriously overlong, and failing to engage at almost any level, this is a serious waste of the time and talents of a lot of individuals, not least the foley artists Julien Baissat and Céline Bernard, who supply a host of sound effects live on stage for almost the entire run. It’s an impressive feat, but the question remains as to why its done at all; possibly, it’s intended as a distancing device, but it’s all too easy to forget that they’re there at all, especially once your attention is fixed on the poorly projected, pedestrianly shot film which unfortunately makes up most of this work.

At the core of the action is Claudio Stellato as the wide-eyed Bobok, a man frustrated by the vageries of the world–failing lights, a collapsing table, an amorphous sofa–who withdraws into the world as explored in the absurd encyclopaedia of Professor Glaçon, which is repeatedly illustrated by what in the UK is undoubtedly referred to as Terry Gilliam-esque animation of cut ‘n’ paste imagery. Alas, Stellato has little or no stage and screen presence, failing to inspire any audience sympathy or understanding; in short, it’s difficult to care about him and his journey, while the animation is singularly unfunny and boring.

Weird just for the sake of it, there’s a love-story of sorts, with Magdalena Steinlein as a supposedly blind street-singer who–for no obvious narrative reason–becomes Bobok’s lover and supposed disciple in his fruitless attempts to turn Glaçon’s imaginary world into reality. But while Sarhan is clearly attempting to create a dream-like state in which to explore ideas of fanaticism and acts of terrorism and disruption, this is an all-too mannered work that’s simply annoying in its attempts at satire, not least the tale of a time when Bankers were poorly paid and had to take up other jobs, especially in opera houses.

There are moments, admittedly, that inspire interest; the dream-trees–or tree-like dreams–that are represented by incredibly cheap, yet disturbingly unhuman, costumes. And, when Bobok has returned to his flat (and the stage), there’s something genuinely unsettling in his growing awareness of the Red Note Ensemble and foley artists who are providing the soundscape of his life in words, discordent music and sound effects. But, to be honest, this is just too little, too late.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

The Blurb

“Enough Already” (French title “Lâchez Tout”) is a major new music-theatre performance created by French composer-artist François Sarhan, featuring actor Claudio Stellato, five musicians from Red Note Ensemble, two live sound effect artists, extensive stop-frame animation, and film. ”Enough Already” is a secular parable in which meanings and relations between people, objects and events become increasingly absurd and ambiguous as time goes on.