The Wives of Wolfgang
Anywhere Festival & Girl Who Cried Wolf Productions
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
May 20 2016
Reviewed by Katy Cotter
Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues, Acquaintances and Perfect Strangers, It is with great sorrow that we must inform you of the death of Wolfgang. Your presence at a memorial service in his honour is most humbly requested. A loving man, Wolfgang is survived by three former wives. They pray his soul will rest, somewhat, in peace. Wives of Wolfgang is a work-in-progress from new production company, Girl Who Cried Wolf Productions.
A friend asked me how I was spending my Friday night, and I replied, “Off to see a theatre show in a church.”
I arrived at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Fortitude Valley, somewhat puzzled about exactly where the show was taking place. There seemed to be a 1940s jazz social commencing in one of the halls but I quickly assumed this was too upbeat for the Wives of Wolfgang. I meandered over to a group of shadowed figures huddling by the steps of the church, and was soon ushered inside by a morbid-looking gentleman who resembled Lurch from the Addam’s Family.
The lighting was stunning; a deep fuchsia making me feel like I had slipped into a Tim Burton film. Smoke billowed ominously across the altar and around a chestnut coloured coffin. The Wives – Hannah Belanszky, Paige Poulier and Caitlin Hill – entered from different parts of the Holy building and so commenced the funeral of their dearly departed, Wolfgang. They each told the story of how they met their mysterious lover, how they impacted his life, and how their lives will never be the same again. Their stories merged between reality to the imagined and the audience had no choice but to sit back and listen to absurd tales about pussy cats, diamond rings and sexual fantasies…
This creative development by Girl Who Cried Wolf Productions was hilariously charming and slightly disturbing in all the right ways. Belanszky, Poulier and Hill are all recent graduates of the Acting program at Southbank Institute of Technology. Being a graduate of the course myself, I recognised the rigorous physicality and heightened language that is held in such high regard. All three actors were attuned to one another, making the performance engaging and thrilling to watch. I must say, I yearned for more. In particular, I wanted more attention on the actual story. I had many questions. Who is Wolfgang? I think if I knew more about the man, then I’d care more for his wives. It seems the surface was scratched of each character. In saying this, I can’t wait to see more developments of this work.
Belanszky, Poulier and Hill are all strong and beautiful performers to watch on the stage (or in this case, on the altar), and this is just the beginning for such a talented trio of emerging Brisbane artists.