Rousseau's Dream

David Pownall
RNT Cottesloe
(2003)

Stephen Boxer has bravely decided to give four performances of this rendition of a lecture by Rousseau to the Royal Society, prior to performances of Power in which he stars.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a decidedly odd man. As he happily tells the Fellows of the Royal Society, he is only there to earn the generous honorarium that they have so kindly offered.

The lecture itself is about sex, a subject that Rousseau explores in remarkable autobiographical depth. He starts at onanism and with great wit and candour talks about first love and other experience, including that with his poor wife. In passing, he reveals a fair amount about his own life and also eighteenth century society in both England and France.

Stephen Boxer, under the direction of Stephen Daldry, gives a very well acted though poorly-lit performance. He is relaxed but always has one eye on ensuring that his audience is amused throughout the 45 minute duration.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher