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BWW Review: Sue Diepeveen is Realistic and Raw in SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE?

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BWW Review: Sue Diepeveen is Realistic and Raw in SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE?

Making its debut at the National Arts Festival digitally, SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE? presented by F Creations and The Edge is a one-woman production that strikes an interesting balance between being heartfelt and harsh while exploring a relatable lead character's reality.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE? opens on Marie, a middle-aged housewife reminiscing over a family heirloom. We come to learn both her husband and mother have passed away, and she now finds herself alone and in financial crisis. In just under an hour, we see Marie narrate through newfound issues of having to find a job and get back onto the dating scene; all the while having idealistic examples of trophy wives in the back of her mind and in front of her face in YOU magazines.

Sue Diepeveen writes and stars in this production. She is wholly engaging throughout and gives off a believable "Real Housewives of Constantia" air. What's fascinating about her characterization of Marie is how she has created a character almost comical in her naivety, while also being deeply sympathetic at the same time. A scene in which she explores various ways to look younger, thinner and bustier is stippled with comedy, but you still can't help watching her stumble with clingfilm around her thighs and be filled with pity.

BWW Review: Sue Diepeveen is Realistic and Raw in SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE?

Diepeveen not only floats between Marie's emotions, she also introduces other characters through small anecdotes and slight changes of accent. While she holds the stage on her own, these extra characterizations give the production colour and flow.

While some of Marie's antics may seem hard to believe, SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE? Is anything but fiction. It explores issues of self-worth and self-BWW Review: Sue Diepeveen is Realistic and Raw in SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE?believe, and also presents a confrontation of ageism and the effects of objectifying women. I found this play to mostly speak up for a sector of society we don't often have presented so candidly on stage, and it's just a pity the climax and conclusion in SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE? is reached a bit too abruptly.

Presenting this dramedy under the direction of Wynne Bredenkamp has possibly given writer and actress Diepeveen more focus on her role. Bredenkamp can be praised for directing a sole player show that is still engaging and varied. As part of the 2020 Virtual National Arts Festival, the filmed version of this production is done professionally while also leaving in slight slips of the script to make it feel authentically theatrically.

The pearl necklace heirloom presented at the beginning and end of SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE? is the perfect metaphor for Marie and the existential journey BWW Review: Sue Diepeveen is Realistic and Raw in SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE?she takes in this play. Without giving away any spoilers, you'll have to see Diepeveen's piece for yourself to find out why.

Photo credit: Wynne Bredenkamp


SO YOU WANT TO BE A TROPHY WIFE? is available on demand as part of vFringe of the 2020 Virtual National Arts Festival until the end of July 2020. Tickets are R50 and the show can be streamed here https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/show/so-you-want-to-be-a-trophy-wife/.


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From This Author Lindsay Kruger