Review: Enough is Enough, Barnabas Arts House, Newport

Enough is Enough, Tuesday 24th January, Barnabas Arts House Newport . Reviewer: Emma Hotchkiss

The best way I can think to describe Enough is Enough is as an audiovisual companion to Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism. As I wandered into a packed church basement on a freezing Monday for the first night of Beaware Production’s newest show, Enough is Enough, I didn’t know quite what to expect. However, the fact that Welsh Women’s Aid were there with a table of helplines and resources gave me an idea of the kind of night I might be in for.
The show centres on four female musicians, who through a smorgasbord of instruments, genres and words tell the graphic stories of millions of unheard – or unbelieved – women. The main topic being explored is that of sexual and physical abuse, whether by partners, parents, boyfriends, brothers, or someone completely unknown to the victim.
The performers take the stage in costumes that seem flung together in a manner that emits a sense of both gothic prostitution and an “F-U” attitude. They sing a song with the lyrics “I am a woman, and I am…” finishing with such words as “controlled,” “dangerous,” and finally “to blame.”
What follows is haunting, jumping between lists of statistics, to trumpets, to iPads, to piercing stares, to statements that cut like a knife – “laws don’t function in the dark” – to slam poetry, to ukuleles, to “1 in 3 women experience sexual violence,” to a capella to a song titled “I love you patriarchy,” to rap, to prostitutes laughing about the abuse in their lives to “we will stop the violence” to “you can’t stop it by protesting” to “the system always wins.”
This is all packed in to a 90 minute performance, in which none of the women leave the stage, or even take a breath, save for the aforementioned piercing stares. The result is a very intense piece of theatre, leaving one both heartbroken and incensed, and although the post-show “Shout It All Out” session was more of a Q&A on this occasion, I imagine it will be a useful way for future audiences to let out their frustration.

All in all this is a very unique and necessary production, and I only hope that it can reach the viewers that may need it most.


by Emma Hotchkiss