Our Carnal Hearts

Rachel Mars


Rachel Mars creates innovative, idiosyncratic and highly accessible work that plays with form and audience/performer relationships; and investigates the way ideologies affect personal actions, inherited cultural behaviours and the limits of comedy. Revolving around sharp, witty and observational text that often references and sends up modes of popular culture, her productions interweave personal reflection with universal questions addressing politics, identity and place.

Featuring a choral score sung live by four female singers, Our Carnal Hearts is a bold, genre-smashing performance interrogating envy and competition. With the audience placed on four sides, Mars creates an interactive / direct address space which draws from live comedy and religious ritual. Conceived after the 2011 London riots, when rage at inequality tipped into looting and the accumulation of 'stuff', the show looks into our personal relationships with jealousy; and the political systems and social media cultures that underpin those feelings. Provocative and funny, the work ultimately asks ‘What do you want, why do you want it and what are you prepared to do to get it?’

In the press

“Immensely charismatic, very funny and artfully crafted with the ear of a poet”
NPR, Boston

“Superbly nuanced, playful and satirical... invites everyone in the room to look deep into their own hearts” Exuent

Production details

  • Writer

    Rachel Mars
  • Director

    Rachel Mars and Wendy Hubbard
  • Designer

    Lighting Designer: Anna Barrett
  • Number of people on stage

    5 including 4 singers
  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight

    Excess baggage
  • Touring Availability

    From September 2017
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    3m x 3m
  • Text-based

    Dense (important for audiences to have a good understanding of English)
  • Also contains:

    Interactivity, Live Music, Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Summerhall (The Dissection Room)
  • Production dates

    14-28 AUGUST
  • Production times

  • Duration

    60 MINS
  • Audience capacity



  • Email

  • Contact for touring

    Rachel Mars / Rebecca Atkinson-Lord

  • Contact at showcase

    Rachel Mars / Rebecca Atkinson-Lord


Rachel is an experienced educator and workshop leader. She has worked with theatre and performance artists, art students, writers, filmmakers and community groups. The company can offer workshops attached directly to Our Carnal Hearts and talk-back panels.

Sing It! Spirit of Envy! is an outreach community project to accompany Our Carnal Hearts. Further information available here.

Additional productions

Story #1 (with Greg Wohead) 
Story #1 is a reckless, reflective, live thinking-through of how and why we construct narrative.

We promise no less than 120 minutes.
We promise real fictional characters.
We promise a plot.
We promise a surprise twist.
We promise a rupture.
We promise an ending.
We promise a rupture.

The Way You Tell Them 
Solo performance in search of what is beyond the gags, jokes, and pratfalls. Using real-life material, classic oral sex jokes and a wolf suit this is a thoughtful and provocative story that questions how we use and abuse humour.