Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Lucky Ones - Melbourne International Comedy Festival preview

We all want a bit of romance in our lives. Those feelings of butterflies in your stomach when you see your beloved's face, and your heart skipping a beat at the sound of their voice are sadly not often experienced. During the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Rama Nicholas is bringing her own romantic tale to life with her new show, The Lucky Ones. As Carmen Walters, Nicholas takes the audience on a wild passionate ride of love, lust and sex. While Carmen may appear to be a seemingly ordinary middle-aged woman, her stories are bound to leave you feeling hot under the collar, and that's just for starters.

"Carmen Walters is a romance and erotica writer! She is a warm and bubbly character with a sharp whit and a whimsical heart, she loves romance and telling romantic and saucy stories." Nicholas explains. "She was born because I wanted to do my next show as a romantic comedy adventure and explore the themes of romance, romantic relationships, love and sex. So I created her character as a way in to the stories I wanted to tell, she is the narrator and she guides the audience through the show."
 
Nicholas'  previous shows - Death Rides A Horse, After Ever After and Mary Weather's Monsters - have included her playing multiple characters, where she not only has to contend with remembering all their lines, but also their individual body language and mannerism, and we can expect to see more of the same with The Lucy Ones. "It gets exhausting at times especially in the month leading up to the show opening, as that's when the work is the hardest and I'm trying to get the show in my bones," she tells me. "This time round I'll be playing at least 15 characters. The creative process can sometimes be slippery and elusive and great ideas can emerge quite late but it's important to be open to them. It's super fun but that's when it's also tricky. In the lead up to the show opening it's literally all I can think about." 

Nicholas has always had a strong interest in showing intimacy and affection on stage, especially with her extensive experience in improvisation. "I have been researching intimacy, romance and love for a long time now and teaching my workshop 'Close To You' to actors and improvisers, to help them with the techniques of how to do authentic love scenes on stage without feeling fear," she says. "My other shows have all had a romantic element in them in one way or another so this time I thought I'd go all out on the theme!" 

While she undertook some research in order to write the show, it wasn't the dry, traditional form of research that so many dread. "I went down the Mills & Boon, Harlequin and Avon road. I have to say, it was a lot of fun reading tones of cheesy romance novels," Nicholas tells me. "I can see why people get addicted to them. The romance genre is huge and has a lot of sub categories. But I got a sense of the language and ideas on how to write saucy scenes. My show is much less traditional than these books that often seem to follow a formula. It is much more quirky and has that magical realism flavour that I adore." 

The Lucky Ones is a romance show where "gender and sexual orientation have no boundaries", which is something that Nicholas believes still has a while to go before it becomes a reality. "When you think back, its clear that we have come a very long way. But having said that, we still have a hell of a long way to go. It baffles me why there is still so much resistance in the world towards equality and equal rights and still so much fear around acceptance when it comes to gender and sexual orientation." Perhaps The Lucky Ones will play its own role in continuing the conversation on a very basic human right.
 


FIVE QUICKIES


The one food I cannot live without is cheese and chocolate. I equally cant resist them that's why I had to put two.

My most cringeworthy moment in on stage was when I did a gig where I had to dress up as a 'Pattie's Pie' and be paraded around the oval at the Royal Melbourne show, luckily the costume was so big no-one could see that it was me. But I remember thinking, 'wow, I've really made it'.

A movie that sums up my life is The Princess Bride because romance, adventure, giants, genius midgets, poison, ROUS, fire swamps, the man in black, buttercup, the cliffs of insanity, my name is Inigo Montoya you killed my father prepare to die, revenge, the six fingered man, sword fights, Humperdinck, miracles, the dread pirate Roberts... and the greatest kiss of all time, ever. Ok this doesn't quite sum up my life but its just a freakin awesome movie.


How many seconds before you can't eat food off the floor? None. Our dog gets to it before anyone else has a chance.



During MICF, I really want to have fun.

Venue: Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank.
Season: 30 March - 23 April | Tues - Sat 8.10pm, Sun 7.10pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $28 Full | $25 Conc
| $22 Tightarse Tuesday and Previews
Bookings: MICF website

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