Arts & Entertainment

Lizzie Borden’s story in rock musical form

Audiences who are tired of conservative theatre will no doubt be lining up to purchase tickets to the new rock musical Lizzie, which is the re-imaging of the true story of Lizzie Borden who in 1892 allegedly axe murdered her father and stepmother.

Marissa Saroca who plays the role of Lizzie explained that this is the first time the production has been brought to Australia and it will be presented with a more localised Australian flavour.

“It’s a queer story and I fell in love with the music and the story of this woman and the relationships around her and how they interact with each other. The situation of that time was different for women. Some of the reasons for Lizzie allegedly committing the murders had to do around the potential assaults from her father and also around the fact that her stepmother wanted Lizzie written out of the will.”

Some people may think this is a revenge story, but Saroca regards it as a survival story. “If you do believe that Lizzie murdered her parents it was in a survival almost self-defence kind of way to free herself of the abuse that was happening to her. Our story doesn’t comment on the moral aspect whether she was right or whether that’s a decision anybody should make in that situation. It’s up to the audience to have those thoughts for themselves.”

When asked whether this is a comedy, drama or horror story Saroca explained that the musical has all of these elements. “There is a campness, over dramatised music theatre rock element but what this team has done is the honouring of Lizzie in this story and not the sensationalised violence committed by a woman. There’s a lot of care in the treatment of the story. It’s not controversial in the way we have approached it”

The cast of four also includes Stefanie Caccamo, Ali Carter and Sarah Ward backed by a band of five musicians. “Through the four very different characters I think this musical shows a very wide range of humanity and how people respond to traumas and circumstances.”

Saroca believes that this show should have mass appeal. “It’s a rock musical so if you don’t usually go watch musical theatre but you’re into rock bands and live music and you’re into a ‘less pretty type of thing’ then you’ll be interested from that angle. If you’re queer or wanting to see a queer love story this will be an exciting thing to see from that perspective and if you like true crime, we’ve got that too.”

When asked whether people may confuse her when out and about with the axe-swinging character she plays on stage Saroca laughed. “I’m very lovely in real life!”

From Jan 13. Hayes Theatre, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point. $56-$78+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.hayestheatre.com.au

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