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Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 6. Tuesday, June 4, 1963

Great Drama

Great Drama

Unity's production of "The Visit" had all the ingredients of great drama. If criticism is to be levelled it must be at the play and not the way in which it was presented.

The production used the Memorial Theatre stage to its utmost effect. Movement was masterly. The pact was fast with cunning variations. Some of the scenes, however, were shrouded in an obscurity unnecessary with the lighting facilities available.

Brilliant casting and superb acting were the hi-spots. Anne Flannery's crisp enunciation was a Joy to hear—most New Zealand, amateur actors could do with some polishing in this department.

Jack Shallcrass as the schoolmaster gave a significant and thoughtful performance. He resisted the temptation to overact, which was inherent in the part, while at the same time never became phlegmatic.

Sooner or later in discussing "The Visit" it is necessary to discuss the play itself. It is, without doubt, a great one. Kenneth Tynan said of it: "This is a play about money: and I seriously doubt whether any theatrical text more wickedly subversive of the Western way of life has ever been staged in London."

This reviewer disagrees. As a play of political philosophy it was intellectually dishonest. And if it was an indictment of capitalism, it offers no alternative. But as drama Fried rich Durrenmatt's "The Visit" was first rate.—G.P.