Company:Collisions, Mary of No Man's Land

Review in Issue 18-2 | Summer 2006

This one-woman show, written by Damian Wright and performed by Company:Collisions director Tanushka Marah, bravely tackles one of the most lauded and potent biblical figures: the Virgin Mary. In doing so, they focus on her childhood and pregnancy, presenting the humanity of this semi-divine figure, and challenging our preconceptions of the social relationships of this central figure in Christian myth.

Mary’s world is peopled by sleazy priests, batty aunts, self-important kings and a naive young girl with hairy knees. Marah’s broad characterisation jumps between first-person narration, comic repartee and expressionistic portrayals of her meetings with the Archangel Gabriel. The shifts in tone make for a pleasingly jolting ride, and the presentation of the more traumatic scenes of the young Mary’s life leaves you with a real empathy for her. Abandoned, metaphorically, by her parents, her husband, her son, and perhaps even her God – it is in this sense of her abandonment that the title starts to make sense – Mary is neither comforted nor protected by any section of society. Indeed, her husband, often portrayed as a loyal and stoic accompaniment to her predicament, is in this version a decrepit old man who says nothing and does little

There are moments which, although they have a visual coherence and bridge narrative transitions, lacked, for me, a clear connection to the themes of the piece – principally Marah’s slow crossing of the stage. But her ability to pitch the tone of her material disarmed any reservations I may have had about the material.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-2
p. 30