The World's Wife

This article is from 2009

The World's Wife

You can't fault Linda Marlowe for timing. No sooner had the original Oh! Calcutta star and Berkoff protégé decided to adapt Carol Ann Duffy’s The World's Wife for the stage, than the Glasgow-born Duffy landed the job of poet laureate. An hour or so after Duffy herself performs The Princess' Blankets at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Marlowe will be bringing life to The World's Wife, Duffy’s 1999 collection of portraits of the female partners of famous fictional characters.

'The moment I read her work I fell in love with Carol Ann Duffy,' says Marlowe who is interpreting 18 of the 30 poems. 'It's amazing poetry and amazingly actable. It's almost as if she's written them for the theatre. It’s crying out to be acted.'

Joining a portfolio of one-woman shows – including Berkoff's Women and Mortal Ladies Possessed by Tennessee Williams – The World's Wife introduces us to everyone from a Spanish gorilla to Mrs Quasimodo. 'It's an extremely physical show,' says Marlowe promising no dry readings from the poetry lectern. 'She's as tough and as visceral as Shakespeare and Berkoff. It's provocative stuff.'

Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, 7–31 Aug (not 12, 19), 1.50pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11). Preview 6 Aug, £5.

World's Wife

  • 4 stars

New adaptation of Carol Ann Duffy's poems imagining famous men from their wives' perspectives. From Frau Freud to Queen Kong, this darkly funny show slices through history and myth, casting an astute glance over the modern world.