Visit turned visitation
Party hard is the motto of today's students and we find ourselves seeing three of them performing a drinking game in their common flat. All three come from different backgrounds, have different stories to tell and, as the night unfolds, we learn that none of them is a likeable person. All three have a skeleton in the closet. They would never actually admit this fact to one another, although they play a drinking game which pseudo-analyses their personality (Never Have I Ever...). Their true nature is only slowly revealed thanks to a mysterious visitor who rings them out of their comfort zone. Inspector Teena Whitsom (Not what I seem), investigating the attempted suicide of a female student on campus, brings them back to their past. Each of the trio has in some way treated the girl badly, ridiculing her, playing tricks on her, talking her into an abortion, selling her drugs though knowing that she was in an unstable condition. All is revealed in back-flashes taken from notes on the girls blog. After admitting to their past asocial behavior the investigator disappears. None of our three students is sure if she even meant the same girl when she interrogated them. Then the unwanted guest leaves. Checking back at the police station, they find out that this so-called inspector does not even exist. They are comfortable only for seconds. The phone rings, a girl has been found exactly in the place mentioned by the inspector and the doorbell rings again...
Taking Priestley's play of social critique set in England in the year 1912 and catapulting it into the modern days of cell phones and blogs takes some courage and finesse. The effort has paid off, as the dusting-off does the play some good. This version, centered around the self-centered characters, conveys the original plot very nicely and leaves the viewer with the inevitable question if the inspector (Goole in the original, an anagram in Dart's version) was real after all. It also shows how indifferent even younger people can be when they play with the lives and the psyche of weaker individuals, who are in danger of breaking due to cynicism and outright emotional cruelty.
A well-done adaptation for the 21st century. Thumbs up and carry on!
PS: The first student who can bring me a decent translation of my review will be rewarded with an extra A.