IS MONEY the root of all evil? Or is it people themselves?
It’s an idea explored in The Visit, the latest production from The Actors’ Hub and the first in its new venue, written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and directed by Amanda Crewes.
The story looks at an impoverished town offered $1 million if they kill a woman’s former lover – and, while the townspeople initially refuse, their resolve is worn down by the allure of wealth.
“Although first performed in 1956, this grotesque fable with its icy humour and bizarre fantastical, yet magical, moments quite undoubtedly holds up a mirror up to our modern lives,” Crewes said.
“Even though it clearly reflects the playwright’s proximity to both the Holocaust and accompanying absurdist revolution in theatre, The Visit is proving to be a somewhat timeless piece. It’s a tragi-comedy that deliciously sheds a light on the dark side, not dissimilar to the Brothers Grimm tales we loved so much as kids. We delight in the gruesome and grotesque but The Visit also leaves us with a very poignant message. It looks at how we are willing to destroy ourselves in the pursuit of money and the cynical disregard for humanity that occurs when capitalism makes us its playthings.”
Crewes chose to direct The Visit to challenge 20 of her students to deliver big and bold choices on stage.
“The play is perfect for that with its grotesque, bizarre and fantastical characters, still deeply rooted in reality, which presents a great acting challenge,” she said.
“I love creating worlds within plays that demand more than the ordinary and challenge our imaginations. And I love it when our audiences don’t want to leave the theatre because they don’t want to leave the world of the play, which happens as soon as they step outside the theatre.”
The main challenges, according to Crewes, are the more fantastical demands of the script.
“I love performances that rely on the actor’s talents and plays that demand a high-calibre of storytelling. They require the actors to use every tool in their arsenal and stretch them beyond what they thought they were capable of.”
The Visit plays at 7pm October 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 with a 2pm matinee October 28. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/SIUP.
The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.