Our Subject Scout, Sarah Gomes Munro, visited AUB Performances’ ‘The Visit’, a cross-course collaboration. Here’s what she had to say…

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Going to see a play you expect to be sat back, in a plush red leather seat with curtains to be pulled and maybe even a live band tuning their instruments in some pit you can’t quite see. What you don’t expect is to walk onto the stage itself, see the chairs stacked in rows going up the walls and the set art to stretch itself all across the room. From the first step I understood, this was going to be quite the immersive experience.

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The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt touches on many raw human emotions. Guellen, a downtrodden German town in the 40s living off the dream of former glory, gets a visit from one of its own former townspeople, the notable Claire Zachanassian who has made her money and her own luck. She offers the town a one million pound investment in return for the death of her former lover, betrayer, but town’s favourite personality and shopkeeper Mr
Ill.

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There is jealousy, madness and excuses to soothe the soul as morals fight poverty and the promise of a better tomorrow shines brighter than a just today. Everything about this play was thought out, from the cardboard set that echoes the poverty and simplicity of Guellen, to the brown bricks on the floor that were cleaned away to show the bright gold of money and betrayal shining underneath.

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Dance came into the experience a number of times to let feelings and not words tell the story and comedy was woven into the play so that you found yourself laughing at these absurd characters, situations and actions.

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The relatively small cast swapped characters seamlessly and if there were any
mishaps throughout the play I caught none of them. The characters came alive right before my eyes and, as is meant to be, I forgot that underneath the costume there is every possibility they were someone else.

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The collaborative contributions shone on stage and I for one know that I will be
going back to see more of AUB’s plays.

 

Words by Sarah Gomes Munro, Photographs by Ewa Ferdynus