The Age

Cameron Woodhead, Reviewer October 24, 2007

Rawcus is an award-winning ensemble of actors with and without disabilities.

Two years ago it teamed with the physical theatre company Born In A Taxi to produce Not Dead Yet, a powerful and visually arresting response to death.

In its latest project, Hunger, Rawcus collaborates with musicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to take on another universal theme Рlove.

All of Rawcus’ work grows organically from the personal experiences of its performers.

Director Kate Sulan has a particular talent for weaving these threads into suggestive and vividly imagined tapestries that accommodate the group’s patches of spontaneity and anarchic humour.

The result, this time, is a beautiful, funny and profoundly moving show – an affirmation that desire, and the joy and suffering it brings, belongs to everyone.

Hunger is immersed in representations of love drawn from classical mythology and popular culture. A cupid with golden wings prances across the stage, in the background, two putti kiss in a bower. A mermaid appears, and cannot respond to love knocking at her cold heart, while a cluster of nymphs hide from her in the depths of the sea. An Ophelia figure picks petals from a flower and babbles fragments of fairytales. And there’s a hilarious parody of Rhett and Scarlett’s parting scene in Gone With the Wind.

Perhaps the most original and contemporary moment is the opening sequence. Love arrives as a boy in a red dress (Paul Mately), whirling through serried ranks of paper bags, toppling them in droves. Throughout the show, Mately’s physical performance is extraordinary – he has terrific stage presence and moves with a rare combination of urgency and poise.