Review: Invisible, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Invisible, by Tena Stivicic, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Saturday, October 15

A GROUP of migrants arrives in the UK hoping to find a better life to the one they left behind in poor, strife-torn countries.

Bewildered by impatient officialdom and confronted by language problems and an inability to get rewarding work to use their skills, Lara and Anton struggle to find a foot-hold on the ladder that will lead them to happiness.

Meanwhile, Felix, a 30s something English businessman already in mid-life crisis, is urged by his ambitious, middle-class friends to go in the other direction – to relocate to eastern Europe to take up an even more lucrative life selling new technology to the “have nots”.

A member of a society which can afford domestic helpers and window cleaners like Lara and Anton, Felix occupies a parallel universe where priority time is increasingly for making money, not starting families or philosophising.

The two worlds - those of the “invisible” arrivals and the all too visible inhabitants - collide with tragic results in Stivicic’s drama which is slickly presented by a seven-strong cast superbly directed by Douglas Rintoul.

New and old characters emerge from an up-stage area complete with costume rack and there are beautifully choreographed slow-motion dream sequences

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This is disciplined, ensemble acting at its best but special mention must go to Anna Elijasz, making her professional stage debut as Lara and sensitively portraying a character full of hope and trust, replaced by desperation.

Jon Foster as the confused, likeable Felix turned in one of the most honest performances seen on the Wolsey stage this year.

Invisible is a co-production by Transport, an arts company using international talent, and the New Wolsey which, with the help of funding, is now earning a widespread reputation in nurturing innovative new companies.

After premiering for three nights in Ipswich, Invisible now takes off on a national tour and, with its refreshing mix of imaginative ideas, is likely to draw enthusiastic applause wherever it goes.

David Green

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