I Am My Own Wife (4 stars)

This article is from 2007.

I Am My Own Wife

Warts and all portrait of an anti-heroine

Is it right for us to turn someone’s life, warts and all, into art after their death? When Doug Wright set out to write this play, he intended to create an appreciative portrait of a person he admired, however when he discovered discrepancies in her story, he decided that, however painful, it was his duty to present the truth.

Taking on all the roles, Kevin Loreque brings to life the story of German transvestite Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, who survived Nazi and communist occupation, collected furniture, opened her own museum, avoided execution and killed her father. The details of her remarkable survival are questionable. Did she become a willing informant for the East German Police, shopping her friend to acquire his antiques? Or was this her only means of self-preservation?

The play’s success lies in Loreque portraying a Von Mahlsdorf we can’t help but empathise with, even as he transforms himself into the multitude of other characters. Would Von MahIsdorf be happy with this portrayal? Is honesty always the best policy? If this play’s anything go by, it most certainly is. (Nicola Husband)

Assembly St George’s West, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 21), 6.30pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

I Am My Own Wife

The Unusual Theatre Company The fascinating true story of Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf – celebrated museum curator, survivor of a brutal childhood and successful navigator of both Nazi and Communist regimes – spans 50 years of the most difficult and shameful periods in 20th century Europe. Her survival is a complex saga of…

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