We chat to Wendy Weiner about all things Edinburgh Fringe as she prepares to take her show Mystery House up North!
Hey Wendy, here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis?
It’s a solo show that weaves together a few different stories, the main one being about
Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester gun fortune. In 1886, after the death of her
husband and child, she bought an unfinished farmhouse near San Francisco. She started
building, and for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 38 years, she didn’t stop! The result
is a massive, maze-like mansion, with staircases to nowhere and a séance room. It’s known as the Winchester Mystery House, one of the most haunted houses in America.
What inspired the show?
I grew up near the house and have been fascinated by it since I was a kid. I can’t count how many times I’ve visited. Recently, I discovered that there was much more to the story than I knew — and that inspired the creation of this show.
How important is the Fringe for new work? And how does it feel to be at the Fringe this
I’ve performed other solo shows at the New York and San Francisco Fringe Festivals, and
there’s nothing like the energy of a Fringe; I love it as a performer, and as an audience
member. I’ve never been to Edinburgh before and can’t tell you how I excited I am —
everyone says there’s no comparison in terms of the creativity, and the opportunity to see
performers from all over the world.
What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences expect?
Obsession, love — and the absurdity of writing in Hollywood. I talk about death and grief –they’re part of Sarah’s story, and my own — but it’s also a funny show, I promise.
Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe why should people book a ticket to
It’s always hard to talk about your own show, so I’ll quote a woman who came to a
workshop I did at my home in Los Angeles. This is what she posted on Instagram: “I arrived at this one-woman play not knowing what to expect, and left in tears, with inspiration and wonder the size of my entire being. MYSTERY HOUSE is about grief, loss, family, a coming-of-age, and how unkindly history has judged women, and continues to do so. The play took place inside a living room, and yet it blew me away more than any Broadway production I’ve seen.”
MYSTERY HOUSE RUNS FROM 2 -28 AUGUST AT GILDED BALLOON – TEVIOT -TURRETT at
12.20hrs – info here!