The Visit of the Tai Tai

based on The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt
adapted by Ivan Heng
W!ld Rice
Victoria Theatre, Singapore

W!LD RICE's The Visit of the Tai Tai, a localised take on Friedrich Durrenmatt's 1956 tragicomedy The Visit (original title: Der Besuch den alten Dame) is an enjoyable theatre experience. The pointed if sometimes painful references to Singapore in the fictional setting of Saitang, Ivan Heng in spectacularly costumed drag - particularly the wedding dress with the endless train - and the adroit fusion of physical theatre, improvisational theatre and intense drama all culminate in a fantastic, Wheel Of Fortune-ish end.

In typically W!LD RICE fashion, there are a couple of pleasant surprises on the set. The first half of the play could however have done with some editing as it was quite draggy at nearly ninety minutes.

Overall, The Visit proves slightly less successful than Luna-id's recent production of The Physicists in terms of bringing out the complexities of Durrenmatt's writing. However, it is definitely the funnier and more accessible of the two productions by virtue of its clear attempts to localise the script and reach out to a wider audience. 

Adapting world classics for the Singapore stage is one of W!LD RICE's strengths and it's great to see them in fine form once again.  


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