Our Carnal Hearts

Photo by Christopher Shea

Photo by Christopher Shea

This fairy comes round your house.
You, she says, are in luck.
Ask for anything you want. Anything in the world and I’ll give it to you. But whatever you ask for, your neighbour gets the same thing, but double.
Great. You say. Fine.
Cut out one of my eyes.

Our Carnal Hearts is a celebration of envy, a joyous call for everyone we’ve ever wanted to be and everything we’ve ever wanted to own. A place to whoop at our own fragility and delight against our better nature. A toast to our competitive spirits and a rumbling dance for the uglygutter-tramping parts of our souls. A show that seeks to prove that envy makes us better. That politicians are right: that its spirit runs through our hearts, lymph systems and bowels and it’s glorious and we wouldn't want it any other way.

Born from the suspect parentage of an ideological rally, a drunken sing-song and a horrible but seductive dream, this show continues my interrogation of envy, success and song following the pop-up choir Sing it! Spirit of Envy! 

I’ve been obsessed with the state of envy across the personal and the political for the past few years. It remains a shamefully taboo emotion.  With Our Carnal Hearts I am riding our current - very perfect –[shit]storm of envy: a culmination of fears of scarcity, isolation born from technology, the move from collectivism to individualism and status anxiety derived from consumerism. The show is a passionate act of exorcism, reimagining envy aside from the humiliation and guilt that it has been imbued with by religion, and the contortions through which politicians mangle envy to serve agendas of wealth accumulation.

Our Carnal Hearts is a gorgeous, gleeful rummage through our darkest urges. Funny, sinister and intimate it is part capitalist satire and part emotional vivisection. It is both a provocation and a catharsis and leaves us smiling, shaken and even perhaps a little kinder.
Jonathan Wakeham, Screenwriter

Both joyful and delightfully painful. Moved me to celebrate what is terribly human with song and revelry, delivered masterfully.
Ari Barbanell, Theatre Producer, American Repertory Theatre

Our Carnal Hearts is a beautifully crafted show delivered with furious energy by a captivating performer.
Natalie Querol, The Empty Space, Newcastle 

A show of wit and verve that -aptly- hides a dark heart. It made me question my own relationship to envy and how the pace of our online lives is overtaking our emotional capacity to connect with our own interiors, never mind other people. 
Louise Stephens, Deputy Literary Manager, Royal Court Theatre, London

Written and Performed by Rachel Mars
Music Composed and Arranged by Louise Mothersole
Sung by Rhiannon Armstrong, Louise Mothersole, Orla O'Flanagan, Rachel Weston
Co-Directed by Rachel Mars and Wendy Hubbard
Lighting Design by Anna Barrett
Relights and Production Management by Sorcha Stott-Strzala

Developed with the support of Arts Council England, South East Dance in partnership with Jerwood Charitable Trust, Orchard Project (NY), CPT, Cambridge Junction, Ovalhouse, American Repertory Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre and Playwrights' Workshop Montreal.


Performances to date - All 2016

Fusebox Festival, Austin | Watch Out Festival Cambridge | Shoreditch Town Hall | Theatre Royal Margate |  CPT |
Oberon, A.R.T Boston | Norwich Arts Centre