The play is wholly rooted in humanity—even as it outlines the consequences that can occur when humanity gets forgotten. In the primary narrative strand of The Enchanted, a prisoner tells us the story of his fellow inmate, York, who is racing against the clock in an attempt to stop his execution going ahead (though York sometimes asserts that he wants to die).
At the heart of the story are two men who have been placed on death row for crimes that are unspeakable (and perhaps not necessarily relevant unfolding plot) one woman tries to save them from a horrible fate – determined to not let them die without a true fight.
This is a pretty piece of expressionistic theatre that pleases the eyes and ears, but its favouring of poetic ambiguity and metaphor over concrete details and characterisation creates emotional distance. It’s difficult to find sympathy for a psychopath when their childhood trauma is nostalgically romanticised or vaguely alluded to when we see so little of them directly.
Set on death row in America, Pharmacy Theatre adapts Rene Denfeld’s novel The Enchanted for the stage. Exploring the nature of ‘evil, punishment, clemency and redemption’, the creative team present a show that would demonstrate potential if it hadn’t had a year to develop since its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016.
Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, Pharmacy Theatre present the London transfer of their debut show – a highly-acclaimed adaptation of death penalty investigator Rene Denfeld’s award-winning novel. The Enchanted highlights issues around capital punishment, child abuse, and the self-perpetuating cycle of violence corrupting the US penitentiary.