Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 5. Day 95. I Want My Own Wife

Drama Teen with Ben Gerrard the star of I am My Own Wife

After the fall. The dogs give Margaret a check over
I saw remarkable piece of theatre tonight called I Am My Own Wife. I'll elaborate on that later but right now here's a variation that suits my life better: I Want My Own Wife. A wife, a mother, a woman is, I think, a very useful thing to have around the house. Having milk in the fridge and clean undies in your drawer doesn't need a wife but in my house it sure helps. I suspect others like food in the kitchen and clothes that don't smell too but they get to outsource. Woe is me. But here's the thing. Like so many women the idea of "mothering" extends beyond one's own nest. At 2am I was changing the bedding of a three -year-old while his mum is in hospital. At 6.30am I was answering the call of my neighbour after she'd had yet another fall. Am I complaining? No. Because I know they would do the same for me without batting an eyelid. But if you could send me a wife to stock the fridge and throw on a load of laundry, that would be great

Review: I Am My Own Wife 

Fact: Fact is stranger than fiction. If you were to dream up a story of a eccentric transgender woman who had managed to survive and flourish under both the oppressive Nazi and Communist regimes in Berlin it would sound insanely implausible. And yet it happened. With such material the best, possibly the only authentic way, to tell the story is in her own words. That's just what the Pulitizer Prize and Tony Award winning play I am My Own Wife does. This one-man verbatim theatre piece draws on hundreds of hours of interviews  playwright Doug Wright  conducted with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf just after the fall of the Berlin wall. Actor Ben Gerrard (Molly) plays not only von Mahlsdorf and Wright but 28 other characters. Gerrard delivers almost a whole world of accents which is truly impressive but the real magic is the way he portrays Charlotte. It's at moments funny and charming then turns on its head in an instant and is sad and confronting. It reveals Charlotte as a complex often contradictory character who somehow tip toed her way in heels and pearls through a difficult and dangerous period in German history. It's compelling. Do yourself a favour and don't miss this one. 4.5/5.
I Am My Own Wife continues at the Visy Theatre at the Powerhouse until Saturday

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