Venue: Limelight on Oxford (Darlinghurst NSW), May 22 – Jun 1, 2019
Playwright: Lincoln Vickery
Director: Lincoln Vickery
Cast: Adam Sollis, Ariadne Sgouros, Jack Scott, Emma O’Sullivan
Images by Clare Hawley
Amanda works as an undertaker, preparing the dead for funerals, but because of her peculiar penchant for sex with cadavers, things get complicated. Lincoln Vickery’s Necrophilia is a comedy that capitalises, predictably, on our awkwardness about the subject. Although thankfully not an exploitative work, Vickery’s focus on the idea of Amanda’s repentance and rehabilitation, seems a lost opportunity for a more philosophical or sociological approach to discussing a taboo of which, on the surface, “nobody gets hurt”.
In spite of the inherently morbid theme, Vickery’s direction gives us a show that feels like a regular romantic comedy. In the absence of intellectual rigour, we are offered instead, some depth of emotion by actor Ariadne Sgouros, whose depiction of Amanda’s struggles brings valuable dimension to the production. Sgouros’ comedy can be slightly obvious at times, but her conviction as performer is admirable. Playing love interest is Adam Sollis, whose ability for nuance in a simple part is noteworthy, able to introduce a quotient of sophistication to the experience. Jack Scott and Emma O’Sullivan round up the cast, both performers effortlessly funny, and confident, in their respective supporting roles.
There seems always to be something unusual about each person’s sexual proclivities; we are all unique beings with individual quirks. Of course, we draw the line at consent, and it is in our incessant arguments about the nature of consent, that the real drama occurs. A dead person is unable to give consent, but a corpse is clearly not the same as a human being. If we think of it as an object, we have to confront the idea that at some stage, it could be treated as less than sacred. We then come to an analysis of whether sex can be anything other than sacred or profane, in these dissections of libidinous activities and body parts. That we can be so uptight and hung up on these subjects only reveals the parts of ourselves that are as yet unevolved, but if we let art do its job, we can be hopeful that it will show the way to enlightenment.