The Garage International
Until 26 Feb 2020

Review by John Wells

“The Wives of Wolfgang” is a curious hybrid of a show. Part monologue, part musical, it shifts uneasily between genres and styles.

We meet Wolfgang’s wife (a sultry and assured Marika Marosszeky) at Wolfgang’s wake. Dressed in a distinctly non-funereal, revealing black dress (later thrown off in favour of even more saucy outfit), and working her way determinedly through a bottle of red, she addresses us strongly, directly. Is she grieving, or distressed, or angry, or lost? Wolfgang (Michael Whittred) sits nearby, watching, listening, saying nothing.

The monologue is broken up by songs, as Marosszeky takes to the microphone. She sings beautifully, belting plaintively and purring seductively. Whittred, who has written the music, accompanies her on electric guitar (over a recorded backing track at times).

Marosszeky is a strong and confident performer, and Whittred’s music is complimentary. But this production is muddled and confusing. Writer and Director Hannah Belanszky has not brought any narrative clarity, and the premise is unclear. Did Wolfgang have several wives, or are we seeing different sides of his wife’s character? Mystery and disjointed action can work well in theatre, especially when an audience is engaged in solving the riddles, but here the show suffers because it is all a bit baffling.

Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)