How do you make fun out of a extremely emotional life event such as divorce? You get Mandi Lodge to star in a one-woman theatre performance called 'My Brilliant Divorce' of course!
My Brilliant Divorce, written by Irish playwright Geraldine Aron, follows the story of Angela Kennedy Lipsky as she navigates her way through the treacherous waters of divorce and all of the ups and downs that come with it using a wonderful mixture of comedy and pathos. Touching on the topics of loneliness, friendships, loss, and sympathy, the play – starring one of Australia's busiest leading ladies, Mandi Lodge – will be doing a tour this year which includes a show at Redland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane.
“It's the journey from getting a divorce and her husband leaving her for a younger model, to the transition of feeling very very down and lonely and trying to get herself through it,” Mandi says. She has previously starred in the hit 'Busting Out' as well as 'Always... Patsy Cline', 'Menopause The Musical In Concert', 'Educating Rita', and more.
“When you're getting divorced you tend to lose all your married friends because they tend to want to stick together so there's another bout of loneliness. She rings helplines for a little bit of sympathy, she rings her mother for sympathy, which is very short-coming, and so as you can see there is a sadness, there's a poignancy, but it's all brought together with a great sense of humour.”
The show centres itself around a very relatable topic, with every one in three marriages in Australia ending in divorce. This statistic unsurprisingly means that a large portion of audience members will have been divorced, meaning that the show will no doubt deeply connect with audiences.
“I think that a lot of people relate to it whether they've been divorced or they know somebody that is divorced because they know that these people can be lonely. They're back in 'singledom', they have to start dating again and sort of venturing out on their own, eating out at restaurants on their own, you know, everything that is a lonely life, and I think that people have gone through that, whether it's divorce or just splitting up from a partner. I think that's why a lot of people relate to it and you can see the funny side of it as well because in tragedy there is always the comedy.”
Originally from the UK, Mandi has lived in Australia for 20 years now and has deeply cemented herself as one of the most in-demand and popular actresses in the biz. She began her career in the UK as a singer, singing for rock bands and later performing on cruise ships. Her more serious theatre work hadn't started until she reached Oz.
“I'd done amateur theatre back in England, and then when I came to Australia I was doing some community theatre and then that lead to me getting more professional roles and I've been pretty much touring in regional performances for the last seven years so it's been fantastic.
“[My advice would be to] Just get as much experience as you can. Even starting in amateur theatre just getting that experience and being a part of the community theatre is a fantastic stepping-stone I found that can lead you to bigger and better things, that's how I made my way.”
'My Brilliant Divorce' plays around the country, including a stop at Redland Performing Arts Centre (9 August) in Brisbane. Click here to view the dates.