Half an Hour Visit
in collaboration with
(Caleb Lewis, Suzie Miller, Vanessa Bates, Damien Millar & Rob Marchand)
Country Arts SA Forged Works residency
"The walls are white; the lighting stark; the linoleum worn.
Five inmates are escorted in. You look up as someone greets you by name..."
Half an Hour Visit seeks to recreate the environs of a modern Australian correctional facility’s ‘Visitor’s Area.’ The show facilitates unique one-on-one engagements between performer and ‘audient’ pairs in a naturalistic, immersive environment. Devisers assume a fully realised character with a richly detailed backstory, endowing each visitor with an identity, establishing a relationship and shared history, inviting collaboration between performer and audient to co-author the story. You might meet a former lover still upset about the past, a client seeking legal advice, a relative determined to make amends or an informant looking to tradeinformation.
It takes ten minutes just to get through security, signing in and handing over personal belongings. Once inside and seated, the inmates are escorted out . Prisoner and visitor have only twenty minutes together and the clock is ticking. Five conversations take place simultaneously. Five relationships play out. Five stories are told, uniquely and dynamically all at once, show after show, night after night. And no two conversations are ever exactly the same. Relationships are established, backstories revealed and a stake in the present gradually comes to light as each prisoner makes a request – to be fulfilled or denied.
Four leading Australian theatre makers (Caleb Lewis, Vanessa Bates, Suzie Miller and Damien Millar) pool their talents and voices, working alongside renowned director and Mike Leigh improvisation expert Rob Marchand, to examine how we deal with those who do us wrong; and the lives of those done wrong by the world.
Half an Hour Visit was developed with the assistance of Country Arts South Australia
through its Forged Works residency scheme.