Sydney review- Necrophilia: perky black comedy
Pictured: Adam Sollis, Ariadne Sgouros, Jack Scott and Emma O’Sullivan. Photos by Clare Hawley
By Lincoln Vickery
Directed by Lincoln Vickery
A Jack Rabbit Theatre Production
Limelight on Oxford
231 Oxford Street
Season: 22 May – 1 June 2019. Bookings: www.limelightonoxford.com.au
Hands up all those who know what necrophilia is? It’s really off, right? And yes, it is. However, you’ve never seen it explained in such an amusing and confronting manner as told in Lincoln Vickery’s Necrophilia, now playing upstairs at Limelight on Oxford.
The subject matter in Necrophilia is certainly chilling, macabre and weird. How anyone can derive sexual pleasure from a dead body is beyond me and is best left to psychiatrists to analyse.
What is impressive though is how a writer can use this taboo topic and create a modern-day love story without making the audience sick. Lincoln Vickery as writer and director cleverly reveals the secret lives of three young characters working in a funeral parlour without judgement.
He uses their personal stories as examples of the vast array of tastes, fetishes and desires that are ‘out there’ in society and ‘in here’ within us.
Amanda (Ariadne Sgouros) is a consultant at
the parlour. She talks to the grieving relatives and
helps them decide on burial or cremation. She is affable, friendly and efficient. But she’s lonely for love and eager to give. With a little help from embalming fluid, her deceased male clients can give as well, with no questions asked!
Mark (Adam Sollis) helps to prepare the bodies for viewing. He appears to be sensible and well-adjusted. There is good workplace banter with his colleague Darren (Jack Scott) and they both have a healthy respect for their clients. Mark develops a crush on Amanda to which she encourages. As their feelings deepen, dark secrets are revealed from both which sorely endanger their relationship.
Darren is somewhat of a stirrer but is good at heart. Darren’s ‘secret’ that he boasts about involves toilet functions in exposed, public places. Back to nappies for Darren.
However, Darren becomes the self-appointed campaigner for good moral behaviour. In doing so, the lives of Amanda, Mark and himself must inevitably take new courses.
Also in the cast is Emily (Emma O’Sullivan), a lady planning a funeral for a deceased relative.
The play is certainly quirky and different. I thought the opening scene was a little drawn out as Darren’s secret was slowly revealed. However, there are plenty of good one-liners and ‘dark’ aspects of the plot were light-hearted and comical. The young audience on opening night were well-pleased, with lots of laughs and occasional applause.
The set was unimaginative, being all black and bland. This allowed the lighting director to excel with much success.
Necrophilia is a perky black comedy. Attend with this knowledge in mind and I’m sure you’ll be amused. After all, there’s a few smiling stiffs backstage!