Caught in the Deathtrap
A sort of theatre related Ben Whishaw post

Worth a Visit(s)?

Visits Curious one this. First the tiny Delicatessen Theatre is in an unloved building tucked away around the back of Oxford Street and the atmospheric performance space, with its peeling parquet floor is accessed by an external fire escape.

All good for a bit of gritty drama like Jon Fosse's Visits described as "dark" with a tag line: "Mother has a new man, Daughter has a secret, Brother has a knife".

Sadly like the unmanned, darkened bar which left the gathering audience bereft of refreshments, the play's tagline proved just as much of a tease.

Set in a flat with uncomfortably looking furniture made from random parts in that way that is just so fringe theatre, it all kicks off with the mother trying to find out what is wrong with her daughter, a depressed, withdrawn, school drop-out, with no friends who sleeps all day.

So there is a secret there but what is it? Well something happened between the daughter and mother's new man or so daughter tells brother. But that incident as described doesn't adequately explain her despondent, borderline agoraphobic behaviour and nothing in the play actually does.

There are numerous confrontations in which characters say "tell me", a lot, but no one really says anything. Indeed the script feels clunky and the actors performances a little too stagey for such an intimate space. When the audience is so close to the action there is definitely a case for more subtlety.

At the end there is a hint that the daughter's story might not be quite as she told it. In the absence of anything remotely revelatory the play ends leaving a frustrating number of questions, the ultimate one being "And?".

If Fosse's aim was merely to frustrate then he gets top marks.

Can't find any other write-ups at the moment so I'm in the dark about whether I missed something.


Need to do some more work on this one, it's proving tricky