Wednesday 18 January 2017

Sex scenes and bare boobs in play sets tongues wagging

DANIEL McCONNELL Chief Reporter

Published 14/03/2010 | 05:00

To bare or not to bare: Boston-born singer and actress Maria Tecce pictured on stage in the Gate Theatre, Dublin, where
she is starring in the play 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'
To bare or not to bare: Boston-born singer and actress Maria Tecce pictured on stage in the Gate Theatre, Dublin, where she is starring in the play 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'

It is the true scandal of the town. The opening of a play dominated by sex, which includes full frontal nudity and simulated intercourse at one of Ireland's grandest theatres, has the Dublin chattering class aghast.

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"It's about sex, it's about seduction, it's about lace frills and grabbing at people. Before you go I should warn you there is full frontal nudity in this play. Yes, on the stage of the Gate Theatre, nightly. Boobs bobbing up and down, real boobs, actual boobs," is how Gay Byrne described it.

Byrne was of course speaking about the latest production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which is currently showing at Dublin's Gate Theatre.

"If bare boobs tend to offend you or indeed the simulation of the sexual act, then don't go to see it, this is not for you. If you want to take a chance then take a look at it. Not only are there boobs in evidence, but there are two scenes you might find objectionable, I know some people who were there on Tuesday night did find objectionable," he added.

He added: "There was a simulated act of sex with a prostitute which I found reasonably vulgar, we didn't need it. There is also a more disturbing scene of the virtual rape of a young girl. I found it . . . it would have been upsetting for many people. I felt most of the audience were quite shocked at that."

However despite his "reservations", Byrne ultimately described the show as a "wonderful and lovely presentation that is certainly worth a view.

"But in the doing of it, it has more to do with the director showing how brave he is and how adventurous he is. There is lots of amusing dialogue in it, but it is a lovely theatrical presentation with the reservations I have," he said.

On the issue of the full frontal nudity, the woman involved -- the stunning actress and singer Maria Tecce -- said despite her having to appear totally in the nude with her breasts and pubic hair on show, she was delighted to appear at the Gate in such a big show.

Tecce, a Boston-born beauty, who has been based in Ireland for almost 10 years, is an established jazz and theatrical singer, but has had to push herself to get immersed in the role.

"I wouldn't do this in my shows as a singer, but there is an element of it's not me up on stage. It is the character Emily. She is the one doing the work. I am confident with my body and comfortable with it.

"Playing Emily is very freeing and Michael Barker-Caven, the director, throughout rehearsals and in the show created a very safe environment," she told me.

She added that while she did contemplate the issue, and the likely impact on her singing career, on discussing the matter with the director Michael Barker-Caven, any hesitations evaporated.

"Being here is like being in a big family. I love the scenes with Nick [Dunning, the show's main protagonist].

"We do little different things every night and it's wonderful."

Sunday Independent

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