Paul T Davies reviews Our Carnal Hearts by Rachel Mars presented as part of the Pulse Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre.
Our Carnal Hearts
Pulse Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
9 June 2018
Pulse Festival Information
Rachel Mars welcomes us to the politics of envy. A revealing of our hidden desires through seductive spoken word and gorgeous singing from four female singers who create a surround sound of choral beauty. Mars demonstrates how envy works, all the times that we screw each other over to get the best, how social media makes us all humble braggers. If a fairy knocked on your door at 2am and old you could have anything you wanted- but your neighbour would get double- what would you do?
Mars is a perfect narrator, mesmerising, welcoming, interacting with the audience, riding the rhythms of her narrative with ease, her physicality synchronising with the beats of her thoughts with seductive ease. The singing is beautiful and spiky, the lyrics funny and recognisable, the transitions perfect. To be honest, any show that gets the audience to sing Spandau Ballet’s Gold has me onside from the start!
As Mars begins to turn the knife of envy the piece perhaps lacks a killer punch, relying too much on humour to get its message across. But it never preaches or dictates; it’s a hugely enjoyable and thought provoking journey along the landscape of our deepest, sharpest envy.