company c NaNa @ Margaret Murray Room
11:00pm, Fri 27 Feb 2004
Short Review: A character-driven tour de force
After having chatted to the wonderful, quiet, polite Nicola Gunn, it was a real eye-opener to see her emerge onstage and play seven characters. Wrapped tightly in a cosy cardigan, she projects herself into the intimate Margaret Murray room so completely that it’s hard to remember that there’s only one person bringing these starkly different characters to life.
You can tell this is going to be a bit different from the outset – Gunn utterly convinces you that she’s a large cat (later confirmed to be a leopard) riding a bicycle (!). She then effortlessly sashays into Rex’s housekeeper, Winnie, and thenceforth through the rest of the characters in this simple, but effective, tale of love-come-treachery. The script is wonderful – the highlight being the appallingly good double entendres during the flirtation scenes of Rex and Irma.
But Gunn’s performance is the real star here – as I’ve mentioned before (and will continue to discuss, at length, to anyone willing to listen), her ability to create the impression of such disparate characters was incredible. One of the final scenes, as most of the central characters walk past Rex for the last time, was simply stunning. STUNNING. Yep, really, she’s that good.
I mean, Nicola Gunn makes you really believe a leopard can ride a bicycle. How good is that?