We’re really excited to be able to release Visitors for performance so soon after its triumphant run at the Bush Theatre this winter, and on the very day its author, Barney Norris, picked up the award for Most Promising Playwright at this year’s Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards. It’s not hard to see why this play has been so successful – new writing this warm, tender and acute is rare indeed.
Visitors tackles some weighty themes without getting bogged down or depressing. Its characters are real and humorous, and there’s a poetic lightness of touch to the writing.
It’s the story of a couple getting used to growing old. Edie is beginning to show signs of dementia, and though Arthur wants to continue working on their farm, their son Stephen has decided it’s time to put his mother into care and sell their home. Their lives are disrupted with the arrival of Kate, a blue-haired carer brought in to look after Edie as her mind unravels.
It’s a play that asks questions about who gets to choose the way we live our lives, and sheds haunting light on the ways time can slip through our fingers when we’re not looking.
Why we think you should do it
Visitors is a fantastic opportunity for any groups looking to tackle a meaty, challenging play that’s still completely satisfying and entertaining. In Edie and Arthur it has a couple of fantastic parts for older actors, and with its single setting (the living room of an English farmhouse, present day) it’s technically straightforward.
The play was hugely successful, starting out at the Arcola and then transferring to the Bush Theatre over Christmas 2014. Here’s a selection of the wonderful reviews it picked up…
“We don’t see many plays on our contemporary stages that address the subject of ageing, and most certainly not plays that brim with the humanity, insight, wit and pathos of Visitors. It’s a triumph of achievement and the fact that it is 27-year-old Barney Norris’s first full-length drama makes it even more remarkable… Parts this finely written are manna for actors… This is a quietly – but utterly – magnificent piece of writing”
★★★★★ Evening Standard
‘”Infinitely touching…a mature and tender play. [Norris] is an authentic new voice”
“An absolute beauty, by turns funny, tender and desperately sad. There is great richness and an almost poetic resonance in the writing so that we can almost see the play of light across their fields and apprehend the jolting dislocation of dementia. It is much harder to write interestingly about happiness than it is about misery, but Norris often does just that”
To find our more about how your group can perform Visitors, visit our website or call our licensing team on 020 7255 4301