06 February 2013

Gush: The Rape of Lucrece

The Rape of Lucrece
Royal Shakespeare Company, Arts Projects Australia
6 February 2013
Sumner Theatre
to 10 February

I saw The Rape of Lucrece tonight. I'm still shaking.

It's harrowing and exquisite and I am completely and utterly in love with Camille O'Sullivan and Feargal Murray.

And Melbourne only has four more chances to see it.

Taking the Shakespeare poem and creating a "play with songs", it was developed by the new Royal Shakespeare Company studio in 2011 and won awards at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe.

I haven't read the poem. But, umm, wow. A poem told from the perspective of the rapist and the woman he raped. What is says about guilt and eternity left me with a lump in my soul that might not fade.

It's performed by Camille O'Sullivan. Why has no one dragged me to see her when she's been in Melbourne? She may the most watchable creature to ever grace a stage. She had me from the moment she opened her mouth to speak; then she sang.

It felt like the whole audience breathed in together and didn't look away until the last of the extended curtain calls.

Forget what she sounds like (but it's like a hand-made chocolate filled with chilli ganache and sharp honey-nut praline crisps), her voice comes from her heart and she sings with an emotion that comes from somewhere so deep and personal that it feels like every word was written for her.

And she's accompanied by pianist and her musical partner Feargal Murray, who developed the piece with her and director Elizabeth Freestone. A brilliant accompanist almost disappears and become an extension of the singer. He is brilliant.

I wasn't on a review ticket, so that's enough and I'm free to gush.

But SHAME MELBOURNE SHAME that there were so many empty seats. A half-empty theatre! I'm embarrassed that this incredible city isn't lining up for this show. You will love it, Melbourne. I know what else is on in town; this is the choice to make.

Song from the show: reverbnation.com.

To make it easier lasttix.com.au/melbourne have half price tickets.

Here's Joanna Bowen's review on AT

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