I Am My Own Wife

Oriel Group I Am My Own Wife Ben Gerrard as Charlotte von Mahlsdorf - photo by Rupert Reid PhotographyAfter a sell-out Sydney season at the Old Fitz Theatre, Oriel Group’s critically acclaimed production of I Am My Own Wife will commence a limited Melbourne season at fortyfivedownstairs from 19 January as part of the 2017 Midsumma Festival, before touring to the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of MELT 2017.

Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright (Quills, Grey Gardens) began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transvestite who, against all odds, survived two of the most oppressive regimes of the 20th century: the Nazis and the Communists. After hundreds of hours of interviews Wright emerged with this fascinating and breathtaking story of survival and identity.

In a performance that earned him a Sydney Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in an Independent Production, Ben Gerrard (Outland, Open Slather, Molly) plays 30 characters in this oneman tour de force to piece together Charlotte’s controversial life. Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, I Am My Own Wife is a profound and mesmerizing piece of theatre.

This debut production presented by Oriel Group is directed by acclaimed actor and director Shaun Rennie (Rent, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Cats) and produced by Helpmann Award-winning actress Elise McCann (currently playing Miss Honey in Matilda the Musical).

Doug Wright is an award-winning American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. Besides I Am My Own Wife, his other works include: Quills (also film), Dinosaurs, The Stonewater Rapture, War Paint, Interrogating the Nude and Unwrap Your Candy, along with musicals The Little Mermaid, Grey Gardens (Tony Nomination), Buzzsaw Berkeley, and Hands on a Hardbody.

Director: Shaun Rennie Featuring: Ben Gerrard Lighting Designer: Hugh Hamilton Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson Set Designer: Caroline Comino Stage Manager: Brooke Almond Producer: Oriel Group Executive Producer: Elise McCann Associate Producer: Lenore Robertson

I Am My Own Wife
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 19 January – 5 February 2017
Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com

Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm
Season: 4 – 8 April 2017
Bookings: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org

For more information, visit: www.iammyownwife.com.au for details.

Image: Ben Gerrard as Charlotte von Mahlsdorf – photo by Rupert Reid Photography

Note: Read Ben Gerrard’s recent On the Couch for Australian Arts Review