The MAC and award-winning theatre company Prime Cut Productions are preparing to tell the fascinating and compelling real-life story of Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf in I Am My Own Wife, the newest theatre co-production at the MAC.
This true story, inspired by interviews conducted by playwright Doug Wright over several years, is a one woman show, performed by a man – one actor, thirty six characters and one incredible life story. Doug Wright heard of Charlotte’s story and was mesmerised from the beginning. The American playwright uncovered the incredible story of Charlotte’s life and survival as a cross-dresser under two of the most conformist regimes of the 20th century, Nazism and Communism.
Produced by the MAC and Prime Cut and directed by Emma Jordan (Blackbird, Shoot the Crow) with stunning set design by Ciaran Bagnall, the play reveals the life of Charlotte who was a compulsive collector of antiques, a sexual libertarian, a German celebrity and a flawed heroine.
John Cronin (Glengarry Glen Ross, Richard III) plays the enigmatic and morally ambiguous heroine, along with the 35 other characters in the show, switching effortlessly between personalities including Doug the interviewer and playwright and Charlotte’s beloved friend, Alfred.
Director, Emma Jordan, comments on the concept and daunting task of bringing a one-man show to the stage:
“It’s a great challenge to direct a one man show but one which I am relishing. Working with the actor John Cronin has been fantastic, helping him to weave together the 36 characters and creating the accents and mannerisms that help to identify each character. I’m so excited to see the show come to life at the MAC and believe that audiences in Northern Ireland will really be captivated by this moving story.”
Gillian Mitchell, Director of Programmes at the MAC, said:
“As we kick off our autumn season, it is such a delight to open with a show with Prime Cut Production, our partners and associate artists at the MAC. ‘I Am My Own Wife’ tells an incredibly powerful, poignant and at times humorous real-life story. A one-man show is a first for the MAC and I have no doubt that audiences will be gripped and moved by Charlotte’s personal story of human survival which has some very unexpected twists.”
I Am My Own Wife has garnered much praise and acclaim since it was first on stage and received numerous Broadway awards including both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2004.
Gilly Campbell, Drama & Dance Officer with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added:
“I Am My Own Wife is an unusual and thought provoking play that has garnered an array of accolades on the international stage. As principal funder of both the MAC and Prime Cut Productions, the award-winning theatre company bringing the production to Belfast for the first time, the Arts Council is delighted that local audiences here have access to such a high quality piece of contemporary international theatre right on their doorstep. With an exciting and jam packed autumn programme ahead, this play is just one of many opportunities at the MAC to participate in and enjoy the arts.”
Tickets for ‘I Am My Own Wife’ are available online from themaclive.com or by phoning 028 9023 5053.
Prices start from £9.50. The show opens at the MAC on 18 September and runs until 6 October.www.themaclive.com