Enron by Lucy Prebble

Scene 9: The Asshole

Skilling climbs stairs like a man on his way to the gallows, unkempt and addled.
He eyes the stock price.
Lay Everyone just needs a bit of faith restored. Stand straight, Jeffrey. You couldn't shave?
As he goes up, he notices his presence pushing the stock price up a very little bit.
Lay Here we go.
This spurs Skilling on.
As they go up, Enron Analysts and Journalists emerge from everywhere to listen to the conference call.
Silence. Skilling exhales.
Lay You'll take questions now.
Pause.
There is utter silence as everyone realises what he just said to an important stock analyst.
Then suddenly there is frenetic activity.
The Analysts all get on their phones and BlackBerries to their banks and brokerage firms
The Analysts have taken themselves off, hurrying back to their marketplace hubs, a sea change in the offing.
But their effects are already painfully clear on the stock price, which is free-falling.
A spotlight on Skilling alone, unsupported. Just him and his representation of his self-worth, the stock price.
Skilling approaches it desperately, trying to regain former glories.
He ends, his arms outstretched, crucifying himself before the market.
The blocks beneath where Skilling was standing are removed by Analysts and Brokers as shares continue to be sold and the company weakens.
A sour, tuneless version of the 'Enron' barbershop quartet from earlier plays.
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