The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt

Last week the Shell play was the challenging German tragi-comedy The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt. Mr. Elton and Miss Thomas directed this hard working cast who told the story of Clare Zachanassian; the richest woman in the world visiting her home town to seek justice for the crimes done against her in her childhood.

The Visit raises vital questions about wealth, corruption, money and love and the Shell were able to grapple with these issues in each rehearsal over the last few months. There were many delightful performances from the deranged eunuchs (Ella Cadogan and Ted Cussans) – re-interpreted as Buddhist monks – through to the well observed and detail performances of the protagonists Clare (Lily Vere Nicoll) and her childhood sweetheart, Alfred (Hugo Lloyd).

It was an immensely engaging evening which stayed true to the Epic Theatre style presenting each location with the empty cargo crates that haunted the impoverished Guellen. The stark minimalist set design by Paul Cox created the skyline of the town and provided a constant reminder of the civic duty of each of it’s inhabitants. Similarly Andrew Pallot’s lighting and Dale Armitage’s costumes echoed the rising madness of greed in the town with the final song (written by Mr. Elton) gave a stark, comedic and horrifying epilogue to the action.

The whole cast worked very hard to create the pageant of ridiculous characters who gradually managed to justify the murder of one man for the sake of the town. Congratulations to all involved in this ambitious enterprise which showcased a great deal of talent for the future of MCDrama.

David Kenworthy
Head of Drama

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