RAW: Why Muriel Matters – La Boheme
An interesting piece of cabaret theatre, this tells the story of local woman, Muriel Matters, who left Australia at the beginning of the twentieth century to become an actress in London. After at first progressing in this area, she finds herself drawn to the Suffragette movement, joining the campaign to win voting rights for British women.
Presented primarily as a monologue by Muriel (Teresa De Gannaro) we follow her from the streets of Adelaide to bustling London and then all around the British Isles as she takes the message to the people. The storyline is interspersed with various songs; of the time as well as new compositions by writer Sheila Duncan.
De Gannaro does well in the role, embodying Muriel with a likable enthusiasm for life and social change. Her performance is not flawless – some lines were stumbled over – but she has a fantastic singing voice and a vitality that makes up for this. Ably supporting her is Carol Young, providing piano accompaniment and pleasing harmonies in several songs. She also inhabits the other citizens in the story, moving seamlessly from one character to another.
This show is, essentially, a history lesson, but one that is pleasurable and appealing. Despite her being Adelaide born and bred and having played such an important role in history, few people will have heard of Muriel. This piece offers a brief overview of her life, which informs the audience about this remarkable woman and why she matters.
Kryztoff Rating 4K