By Natalee Kerr
Navigating the ups and downs of life after marriage is at the forefront of a “witty and warm” solo show set to hit the Potato Shed next week.
My Brilliant Divorce tells the story of a middle-aged divorcee attempting to “pick up the pieces” after her long-time husband dumps her for a younger model.
Australian actress Mandi Lodge plays central character Angela in the one-woman show that brings humour into an “extremely emotional” event.
“Having gone through a break-up myself I know what it’s like and how it feels. It’s devastating… I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy,” Lodge said.
“But in tragedy there is always the comedy.”
Lodge said the performance explores the recovery journey post-divorce including fumbling through the dating scene and the pathway to self-discovery.
“She’s delving into things she has never had to deal with before like going on blind dates, heading into a sex shop and calling helplines for sympathy,” she said.
“She’s a bit ditzy, naive and vulnerable, but you really see her strengths build through the play.”
Lodge said the show’s topic “connected” with audiences.
“Divorce is a pretty common thing… I think a lot of people relate to it whether they’ve been divorced or they know somebody else that has,” she said.
“I like to move people… if I can have them laughing and then deeply thinking about it, then I feel like I’m doing my job.
“A lady actually stopped me the other day after a show and said ‘it was so sad…but in a good way’.”
Originally from England, Lodge started acting at age 14 through amateur theatre, but began her performing career as a singer for a rock band.
“Although I loved singing I always had this desire to be an actress,” she said.
Lodge then came to Australia in 2000 where she then became involved in community theatre before going into more professional work.
“Once I came over here and saw a few shows I just thought ‘wow, I need to be performing’… that drove me to pursue it more seriously,” she said.
“Now I’ve been touring pretty much non-stop for the last seven years in various shows.”
The Gippsland-based actress said she was looking forward to seeing some “familiar faces” at the Potato Shed.
“I’ve done four differing shows down there… I’ve got a little following,” she said.
“The crowd is always super responsive which is great especially when it’s only me on stage… it makes the job a little easier.”
My Brilliant Divorce will be at Drysdale’s Potato Shed on 11 and 12 October.