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  • Miles Hedley

YOU HEARD ME at The Albany

Updated: May 24, 2022

On a Tuesday afternoon in February 2019 Luca Rutherford went for a run before she was due to do a show in Hull. It was part of her long-held practice whenever she was on tour. This time, though, a man grabbed her and tried to drag her into a derelict building to rape her.

Rutherford has now turned her terrifying experience into a one-woman performance called You Heard Me in which she revisits the event through words, dance and music. And as those of us who were fortunate enough to catch it at the Albany can attest, it’s extraordinary.

In the course of just one hour, Rutherford took us through the experience in three distinct sections. The first was a straightforward spoken word account that was brutal in its honesty. The second was an astonishing reenactment of the emotional impact of the attack using dance, searing lights and moody electronica which had the effect of heightening the sense of terror.

For the third part, Rutherford returned to the spoken word and quietly - serenely even - told us how, having escaped her attacker after another man heard her cries and ran to the scene, she had since realised that her screams were not only expressions of terror but also of power, a realisation that had given her new strength.

In the programme, Rutherford had said the work was for anyone who has been underestimated, told to shut up or felt afraid to walk home. In fact it is considerably more than that because it is a story everyone should hear and one that, for all of us, is inspirational, insightful, important and very brave.

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