The Wives of Wolfgang
This is a darkly humorous play excellently performed by the cast of two. A novel cross between musical theatre and cabaret, it features a central female character essentially presenting a monologue interspersed with original songs accompanied by a character seated rear of stage playing electric guitar.
We are welcomed into what turns out to be the home of the newly widowed Mrs Wolfgang by the lady herself, dressed in black and quaffing a glass of pinot. We are made to feel we are friends and acquaintances of the deceased, there for the funeral wake, and the widow then reminisces about her life, with her memories of Wolfgang providing an almost incidental timeline for her experiences as a woman.
I was captivated and enthralled by the superb performance of Marika Marosszeky in the lead role.
The Wives of Wolfgang was originally conceived and initially performed with three female leads playing three important females in the life of the now demised Wolfgang. In this latest incarnation of the play the spouse, the mistress and the cat have morphed into a single widow with many tales to tell. The fact that this works is largely down to the outstanding Marika.
It is not only the monologue, which she delivers with aplomb, but also her lovely singing voice which brings Michael Whittred (the guitarist)’s original songs to life. And on top of that, she performs a very sexy sultry burlesque strip routine – which alone makes your attendance worthwhile.
I also liked the way she fully embraced many dismissive one-way interactions with the wake attendees/audience which the script provided; accusing one woman of looking at weird stuff on the internet and some poor bloke’s partner of having very poor taste in men.
Michael is largely in the background although his facial expressions are well aligned with Marika’s words and his guitar playing provides a nice counterpoise; oh, and the songs are great.
Written and directed by Hannah Belanszky, the Wives of Wolfgang is a slow-burning gem providing a Fringe treat for all those who can get over to the Girls School for a late show.