Photo from Marat/Sade

Madness, Mayhem, Music, Murder by Linh

The Graduating Actors at the Adelaide Centre for the Arts presented a modernised production of Marat/Sade yet stayed true to the script. Director Paul Peers hoped the play would raise questions, leaving the audience to come to their own conclusions about the play's moralities and political musings.

There are apparent differences where male roles of the play within the play were played by women and vice versa. This may have been intentional to highlight the insanity or ingenuity of the inmates in role playing.

Renee Gentle was engaging as the itching and tetchy Marat, spending most of the play in a bath tub due to the debilitating skin disease Marat suffered in the latter years of his life. Her speeches were well delivered with the wild frenzy of a lunatic so engrossed with the passion of the text.

Elliot Howard was gentle and graceful as Marat's wife Simonne Evrard, as he played the always doting and dutiful wife at Marat's every beck and call.

Alan Grace epitomised the arrogance and menacing character of Marquis de Sade with effective articulation and physicality.

The stand out performance was Maria Dafneros as the narcoleptic who portrays Charlotte Corday in the play within the play. Her brilliant delivery brought compassion and vile at Charlotte's hate for Marat and was believably stirring as she stood beside Marat's bloodied body.

The chorus members were hilarious as they sang, danced and frolicked throughout Marat's speeches and pleaded for the revolutionist to free the people of France.

All performers triumphed in telling their story through words, movement and emotion as the musicians accentuated the frenzy with Paul Gooding on accordion, Eddie Morrison on double bass and Tim Overton on drums/tuba.

Marat/Sade was horrifically violent, visually beguiling, loud and entertaining with a few surprises thrown in to catch the audience off guard.