THE LOVERS OF VIORNE: Claire Lannes (Jilian Murray) and Pierre (Rob Meldrum) coming to Lismore.
THE LOVERS OF VIORNE: Claire Lannes (Jilian Murray) and Pierre (Rob Meldrum) coming to Lismore. Oscar Strangio

Veteran actors portray drama of ordinary lives

HE TURNED 69 on April 29 but actor Rob Meldrum believes he is at the top of his game now, better than he was in his 20s.

Meldrum and Jillian Murray (herself in her early 60s) are about to tour Australia with The Lovers of Viorne - a two-handed play written in the '60s by celebrated French author Marguerite Duras.

The production comes to Lismore City Hall on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, as part of the NORPA 2019 program.

The tour will also include shows in Brisbane on June 28-29.

For Meldrum it is a chance to visit an old friend and a chance to come up to the Far North Coast for only the second time in his life.

"I worked with Bell Shakespeare in the early 2000s," he explained.

"I was with their education show and spent two weeks touring Northern New South Wales."

This time around he has a week before the next show in Perth and is hoping to stay and take in the region but first he will perform a show he obviously finds an interesting challenge.

The Lovers of Viorne follows a brutal murder committed in a small town in France (based on a compelling true crime story) and the story of who it happened to and why.

He said the first few minutes "bring spoilers" of sorts involving both the victim and perpetrator, with the play then following the two main suspects being interviewed and the full story mostly being unearthed.

Pierre (Rob Meldrum) and Claire Lannes (Jillian Murray - 2015 Green Room winner, Best Female Performer, Independent Theatre) are ordinary humans leading everyday lives until catastrophe occurs. Over the course of the drama, they effortlessly reveal the beauty and brutality of their inner selves, and create a painstaking portrait of lost passion.

Rob said they made the decision to not bring in a third person, with Jillian acting as the interviewer for "Pierre" and then Rob interviewing Claire.

The pair have performed the play over several years from 2014-2017 but this is the first time in two years and the first time outside of Victoria.

Directed by Laurence Strangio, The Lovers of Viorne (L'amante Anglaise) is a rare work of theatre.

The Lovers Of Viorne (L'amante Anglaise) is on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, from 7.30pm at NORPA, Lismore City Hall. For tickets, go to norpa.org.au or phone 1300066772.


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