top of page

RBG: Of Many, One - Black Swan Theatre Company / Sydney Theatre Company

Reviewed by Kate O'Sullivan


It is rare in theatre to see a show that elicits laughter and sighs from its audience and compels an entire auditorium to its feet at the end of the show. Even rarer is a show for a solo performer given the elevation of a main stage, allowing for such a response. "RBG: Of Many, One" is one such show.

On the main stage of the Heath Ledger Theatre, Heather Miller embodies the indomitable spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), in a performance that is as multifaceted as it is captivating. The stage, adorned only with minimal furniture and occasional props, becomes a canvas where Miller's portrayal of RBG shines through with remarkable clarity and depth.

Miller's portrayal is nothing short of a triumph. She navigates effortlessly between moments of seriousness, humour, and sheer hilarity, occasionally breaking the fourth wall to interact with stagehands and the audience in delightful interludes. At times, her performance resembles a stand-up comedy act, while at others, it resonates with the gravitas of classic drama. Throughout the overarching storyline, we bear witness to RBG's entire life unfold, interspersed with poignant impressions of her contemporaries—Clinton, Obama, Trump—and her fellow Justices, all masterfully satirised.

"RBG: Of Many, One" crafted by Suzie Miller, proves to be an utterly compelling script. It seamlessly weaves together edification, entertainment, humour, and moments of profound sadness. The play serves as a cautionary tale, timely amidst contemporary political landscapes and the threats to democracy that resonate deeply. Despite spanning decades of RBG's life, the narrative remains accessible and engaging, offering insightful glimpses into pivotal judicial cases and moments that defined her legacy in gender reform.

Through constant flashes of time, from RBG's girlhood, through her cases, to her final days just before the 2020 US election, the play unfolds with notable narrative clarity. It celebrates not only the milestones of RBG's judicial career but also her enduring impact on societal norms, expectations and gender equality. Each scene, meticulously crafted and executed, underscores the enduring relevance of RBG's journey in shaping American jurisprudence and societal progress.

"RBG: Of Many, One" is more than a theatrical production; it is a poignant reflection on resilience, justice, and the pursuit of equality—a testament to the enduring legacy of a judicial icon. And if the opening night audience's response, is anything to go by, one that should not be missed.

Heather Mitchel (Ruth Bader Ginsberg) in RBG: Of Many, One. Image Credit: Prudence Upton

Reviewer Note: Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.


bottom of page