Company: Snakeskin Jacket, Winnipeg, MB
Venue: 17 - PTE – Colin Jackson Studio
Fans of Neil Simon will enjoy the show. Those looking for theatre on the fringe should look elsewhere.
Like a snake eating its own tail, The Wife
begins where it ends, with unanswerable questions about love's permanence. In between, two couples tear each other apart at an impromptu dinner party from hell.
I have nothing but praise for the performers. Jack (Ivan Henwood) is creepily manipulative, and his wife Rita (Kerri Woloszyn) is a carefully controlled seesaw vacillating between uptight and drugged out. Paul Madziak (Cosmo) is a ball of frenetic, neurotic, self obsessed energy, and his wife Arlie (Jane Walker) steals the show as the frank talking, ex-stripper.
There's a but coming and it's a big but. This type of theatre feels very dated. Middle class people sitting around griping about middle class problems? Obsessing about the authentic, complaining about the dreariness of day to day life, falls squarely under the undying meme - First World Problems.
Here's the deal. Fans of Neil Simon will enjoy the show. Those looking for theatre on the fringe should look elsewhere.