RBG: Of Many, One

Heather Mitchell as Ruth Bader Ginsburg photo by Prudence UptonThere are not enough superlatives to describe or praise the one-woman show RBG: Of Many, One.  It is a tour de force in storytelling.

I was spontaneously forced to my feet to join the standing ovation. Something that has only happened three other times in five decades of attending the theatre.

RBG stands for the US Supreme Court Judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And what an amazing and powerful woman she was. And her story is told by one amazing and powerful actress, Heather Mitchell.

Mitchell is a revelation as she brings to life, the life of Ginsburg.

For ninety minutes Mitchell commands the stage and draws you hook, line and sinker into the life of her character. Her performance is magical as she shares and recounts the defining moments in Ginsburg’s life.

Mitchell effortlessly and flawlessly switches from one character to another and her imitation of the four presidents Ginsburg worked with over her twenty seven years, are entertaining and at times hilarious.

There are so many brilliantly portrayed events. From Ginsburg’s first moments of witnessing an opera, dinner with President Obama, exercising in the judges chambers; as the character ages before the audience’s eyes and recounting cases where she over turned the views on women’s rights.

Playwright, Suzie Miller, has written an emotional and gripping piece of theatre that allows Mitchell to share Ginsburg’s life as a woman, Jew and mother; in a time when women were expected to be a wife, housekeeper and mum.

In her lifetime Ginsburg broke these expectations and worked to change the laws, and societies expectations of women.

The set, designed by David Fleischer, is simple and manages to transport the audience from the home of Ginsburg all the way to the White House.

When a shiver runs through your body you know you have witnessed an amazingly remarkable piece of theatre.  And that is exactly what RBG: Of Many, One manages to do. Do not miss the most mesmerising, emotive piece of theatre you will ever witness.  It is a tale of joy, fulfilment, love and life.

RBG: Of Many, One
Heath Ledger Theatre – State Theatre Centre of WA, William Street, Perth
Performance: Thursday 13 June 2024
Season continues to 23 June 2024
Bookings: www.blackswantheatre.com.au

Image: Heather Mitchell as Ruth Bader Ginsburg – photo by Prudence Upton

Review: Craig Dalglish