Murat, 17

The story of someone trying to save something is saturated in the theatre market, yet in hindsight this play doesn’t employ the same predictable storyline. However, the play does utilise that stereotype and subvert the viewer’s expectation of what is to come. Unlike other plays that kind of require the viewer to closely follow the narrative in order to understand what happens next, The Convert enforces a direct approach to its story. I thoroughly appreciated this, I prefer to understand the actual intentions of the directors and follow their version of the story. People already wilfully add their own interpretations to what they watch, and I prefer the direct approach and how the director almost guides the audience through his or her story. Therefore, I enjoy this form of storytelling and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the play. However, other essential features of a play that allows the audience to be immersed in the story are several lacking behind, an example of this was stage utilization. The whole 2hr 45min play consisted of only two settings, both being inside the master’s home. I also found the raising and lowering of the sides of the box around the stage to be gimmicky. This obstructed the view of people on the upper deck which made viewing the final third of the play a severely frustrating experience. I am not even mentioning the fact that utilising a 360 stage is really hard and comes with severe consequences such as the actors back being turned against you most scenes.

 

Overall the immersive plot allowed me to be guided through current as well as the historical problems that plague Zimbabwe till this day. And having someone who is native to the region to guide the audience through the story really emphasises the impact it had on Zimbabweans. It is a shame that it had to be spoiled by the lacklustre utilisation of the stage, character positioning and the lack of scene props.