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Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd

Manifesting Mrs Marx


Listen to excerptsProduction NotesView VideoSchools & EducationalDownload Technical RiderDownloadable ImagesReviewsSuggested Brochure CopyArtiste Biographies Winner of Best Performance Art, SaraSolo Festival, Florida 2016

Nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance and Original Full-Length Script, Innovative Theater Awards, New York City 2018


Domestic & International gigs through 2020-2021

Target Venues: Capacity 60 - 200

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Manifesting Mrs Marx Trailer

 

further Info

www.manifestingmrsmarx.com

Direction by Guy Masterson,
Projection Art & Design by Alexis Kandra
Music & Lyrics by Sophie Traub  
Photography by Jane Stein  
Poster Design by Clinton Corbett 
Voice overs by Timothy McCown Reynolds & Clara Francesca
 Executive Producer James Simon

SPECIAL THANKS TO...

Sound operations Amy Whitman; Former Director: Timothy McCown Reynold;Original Llighting Design: Jeff Nash; Board operation: Amelia Jackson & Chip Hamlett; Film Footage: Fiona Bulle & Matt Gray; Photography: Sam Horvath; Host venues and festivals Paradise Green in Augustines The Snug with Edinburgh Fringe 2019,  FEAST PERFORMANCE at Under St Marks Theater NYC with Alex Randrup & Eli Reid & Conrad Kluck, The Brick TheaterBrooklyn with Michael Gardner, Waterbury Theater Center with Monica Callan & Grange Hall Cultural Center, La Mama Theater Melbourne with Liz Jones, Title:Point Theater Brooklyn with Theresa Buchheister, SaraSolo Florida with Ann Morrison & Blake Walton, Anitra Nelson, Brenda Addie, Harry Paternoster & Carnival of Damned Funny

 


Gary Edward Jones
Theatre Tours International presents Clara Francesca

MANIFESTING MRS MARX

A FASCINATING, COMEDIC INSIGHT INTO
A FORGOTTEN HISTORICAL HEROINE

Created and Performed by Clara Francesca
Artistic Direction by Guy Masterson

The clue is in her name Jenny Marx... she was Karl Marx's wife.... the force behind the "great" man... yet, like many before and after her, history has conveniently airbrushed her out... As Jenny is given new life and a fresh voice by a researcher's pen, she finds that she, once again, has to fight for her truths to be told and her desperately moving story to be heard. Will another woman's voice be silenced?
Manifesting Mrs Marx is about a formidable woman trapped between the lines of history books and silenced by the patriarchy… an homage to all those trapped inside their bodies... inside pre-conceived notions of what society tells us we are, and insists that we should be..
Created and performed by Commedia Dell'arte trained Clara Francesca and directed by Olivier Award winner Guy Masterson, this is an astounding performance that nods to Pirandello and winks at Peter Brook.

"Never pauses in its imaginative, engaging, often disorientating performance. You are never quite sure where it is heading, or what will come next. It never lost my attention for a moment and had me talking to people about it for hours afterwards." (British Theatre Guide)

"THRILLING!" (NY Herald Tribune)

"A Roller Coaster of emotions! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" (FringeReview)



From Edinburgh 2019

BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
Manifesting Mrs Marx is a visually startling, angry response to the historical depiction of Jenny Marx. We know that Jenny made readable copies of her husband Karl’s writing, often engaging with him critically about his work and having her own strong views about the world in which they lived. She had given up a much easier life to support him and their children through desperate poverty in London. Yet this remarkable woman is often given a poor report by historians. We hear about these things in Clara Francesca’s show mostly performed as a surreal provocation, a questioning of the way we represent someone as much as it is a representation of the person themselves. She arrives to the stage within a huge coat she holds so her head isn’t showing. The coat we are told is Karl Marx. Her face when it emerges is painted clown-like, her movements a clown dance as a voiceover gives instructions on how to talk, the nonsense line that gets repeated often being “speaking at the pace of perfection.” And the contorting clown after a while does give us her internal monologue as Jenny Marx. But no sooner are we adjusting to some unusual sequence than she switches to a different scenario. One moment she is standing on a chair speaking to us in total darkness with our eyes closed, another moment she is speaking about little Jenny and then can suddenly switch to being an actor describing her lack of control in shaping a character already defined by the writer, the director and others. This show never pauses in its imaginative, engaging, often disorientating performance. You are never quite sure where it is heading, or what will come next. It never lost my attention for a moment and had me talking to people about it for hours afterwards. (Keith Mckenna - British Theatre Guide - 17/8/2019)

THRILLING! - HERALD TRIBUNE
Clara Francesca takes her own unusual but thrilling approach to introducing us to Jenny Marx, the wife of philosopher Karl Marx, in her show Manifesting Mrs. Marx. She emerges in the dark from beneath a cloak and with her face half-painted like a clown. We’re witnessing the birth of a character on the stage and her destruction before the end. It’s not straight-forward biography (in fact, we don’t learn much about her until the end), but we get to see into the soul of a woman who was devoted and supportive of her husband until she discovered his betrayal of his promise of monogamy when they married. (Jay Handelman- NY Herald Tribune - 02/01/17)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - FRINGE REVIEW
In 2004, Fountain (a plain white urinal) was described in the British press as “the most influential modern work of art ever”. It has always been attributed to French surrealist Marcel Duchamp and its appearance as an exhibit is commonly credited with creating one of those moments in the world which would jump start a new form of artistic expression, similarly in economics Karl Marx’s Das Kapital would birth revolutions. Only it is likely that Duchamp’s Urinal should be attributed to female artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, and Jenny Marx’s uncredited unstinting loyalty and practical household management made it possible for her globally famous husband to write the book that would change the world. Not only was Marx, ironically, hopeless with money but he was unfaithful with a least one other woman and denied paternity of their child. Behind every great man is truly a long-suffering woman. Manifesting Mrs Marx reimagines Jenny’s pain at the infidelity and at the death of four infant children set against her great love for Marx. It also questions the role of the biographer, playwright and audience at colluding in the ‘silencing’ of Jenny or assuming they know how she would, talk, walk and behave. Clara Francesca is a (mostly) silent clown, a puppet with cut strings, or plays herself as the playwright and occasional a very loud and angry Jenny alter ego. Never mind breaking through the fourth wall, she smashes it in this exposé of the fakery of biographical theatre. At other times she is a tender mother, an eloquent champion of her husband’s bad poetry and misty-eyed romantic treasuring his love letters. It is an extraordinary performance from this talented actor with pin sharp timing and dizzying about turns between personalities. The audience are engaged, cajoled and dismissed only to be brought back with the actor’s endearments. Credit due to the lightening reflexes of the tech box operator who snaps us in and out of blackouts with every sound and light cue nailed. The audience are also a bit bewildered; there are about 4 different plays in the piece jostling for position and it is frustrating that none gain prominence. There is a sense of a piece of theatre starting and restarting and starting over and then just as quickly the boxes within boxes are shut up and there we are at the end, not much wiser about Mrs Marx as an individual. Is this deliberate, to reinforce her shadowy figure in history? In truth this piece of immersive theatre could equally be called the Daffodils of Dorothy Wordsworth, A sonnet to Mrs Shakespeare or Elsa and the Urinal such is the long list of women whose potential value we have dismissed in praising their brother, husband or collaborator. You will not find out much about life of Jenny but you will experience the roller coaster of emotions from being ignored, rewritten, dismissed and abused while playing second fiddle to a much lionised man. (Joanna Matthews - FringeReview- 10/08/19)

Edinburgh 2019 - Audience Reviews

A very talented performer that deconstructs the layers of Mrs. Marx's life in inventive and heartbreaking ways. See this show!"
(Joe Janes - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

"Yes!! Magnetizing and wonderful. A fascinating journey was Manifesting Mrs Marx, by and starring Clara Francesca. A solo theatre piece that practically cracks out its own genre. Want to see it again!" (Kevin Fox - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

"Wow! This piece of theatre is truly stunning. I thoroughly recommend you book your tickets to enjoy a performance which is thrilling, witty, thought-provoking and emotive. The mixture of performance styles keeps you on your toes and the relationship created between actor and audience is invigorating. Clara Francesca's commitment to the role is faultless as she switches seamlessly between styles, characters and versions of Mrs Marx. I was gripped from beginning to end. A must see!" (Rebecca Threapleton - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

"This is an incredible piece of theatre, it’s been a few days since I saw it and I still keep thinking about it and discussing it with the people I saw it with. Breathtaking, all consuming and completely immersive theatre. I was carried along by Clara’s mesmerising performance and on the way experienced every emotion. “Loved it” is not strong enough." (Graham Carpenter - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

"Wow! Manifesting Mrs. Marx was a beautiful exploration of female, history, and social expectations. I was really drawn into the style and format of the show. Clara's work was wonderfully articulate and elegant. Her awareness as an actor, author, and character was beautiful." (Alex Webster - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

"Manifesting brilliance! Clara's a powerful actor who takes you on a fractured journey into the mind of a woman over looked by history. She makes you feel like your mind is on fire and grieving for the heroines tragedy." (Broderick Ballantyne, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

"Excellent!! Good pull on my emotional strings. Really felt what Ms. Marx was feeling. Thank you for a great performance." (Janet Ballantyne, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019)

"I was completely blown away by this piece that I just had to return and watch it a second time. Clara’s acting was phenomenal and the piece itself was so poignant and beautiful, absolutely breathtaking piece of theatre that I urge everyone to go and see!" (Mollie Bruce - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

"It was an excellent performance, great show, highly recommend it. Good humour in it and I love the ending analysis about the facade of creating a character. Clara is one to watch as well." (Eddie Mullarkey - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

Fabulously engaging performance was both haunting and astute. Fascinating stuff!!" (Berri George, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019)

"Phenomenal piece of theatre. Clara's performance has you gripped throughout with a perfectly jarring blend of clowning, monologuing & audience interaction. This show toys with your emotions whilst addressing several poignant topics. Loved it!" (Ashley Shiers - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

“Manifesting Mrs Marx is truly fantastic. A well thought out fusion of different types of theatre that is wildly out there and one of the best things I’ve seen. Clara Francesca’s performance is brilliant and holds you gripped throughout. A wonderful piece of theatre.” (Kieran Boon - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

“A fascinating insight into a woman often neglected by history. Part clown piece, part drama, part comedy. Really cool!.” (Angela Pirko - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

“Clara Francesca is an extremely talented, engaging, and charismatic actor. That she is taking her talents and empathy and using them to explore the life of a woman who is so often overlooked by history is truly astonishing. We should all know more about Jenny Marx, and we should all take every opportunity to watch this magnificent performer.” (Mary Myers - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 19)

“Your voice is a weapon, everyone needs to see this show” (Phil PH, FEAST Under St Marks July 2019)

“Loved the sizing-up of Marx. I grew up on Beckett and your show has so much to unpack. I want to see the potential of your technical world fuse with your show!” (Silvermeat, FEAST Under St Marks July 2019)

“I’m not sure if the world is ready for you but you have to put this out” (John, FEAST Under St Marks July 2019)

“LOVED when the coat became Karl. Things that cover us and make us feel warm. It was so clear when you were talking to Karl and other characters. (Alex, FEAST Under St Marks July 2019)

“Your piece was so electric and exciting, and it was so clear the audience responded so well to it. I loved hearing what folks had to say afterwards (and think you definitely should use the pull quote "Your voice is a weapon" for everything! (Conrad Kluck, FEAST Under St Marks July 2019)

“Clara! … you are so fantastic and I was totally entranced by what you brought to FEAST to Monday.” (Alexandra Randrup, FEAST Under St Marks July 2019)

“We love you at SaraSolo!!! (Ann Morrison, Artistic Director (AD) of SaraSolo July 2019)

“Wow, I loved this show and they will too” (Lisa Chantel Emanuel, AD Geelong-Lara Theatre Company July 2019)

“I loved seeing this in Waterbury Center, Vermont! Congrats, Clara!” (Lesley Becker, Vermont for Mental Health 2018)

“I am thrilled to hear you are taking Mrs Marx to Edinburgh. You piece is so inspiring and I loved seeing it. I loved your deconstruction of the character and understood it, as someone who had had a struggle to return to study of art while her kids were young. (Maree Morfuni, La Mama 2017)

If you’re at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, here’s a solo show for you… starring Clara Francesca. SHE IS NOT TO BE MISSED!
(Amy Whitman, Industry Equity & SAG-AFTRA)

If you happen to be in Edinburgh for Fringe in August we suggest that you catch the multi-dimensional, physical, and absurdist one woman theatre show Manifesting Mrs Marxcreated by our New York based collaborator, Clara Francesca. We saw the show back in Melbourne and it is truly thought-provoking and intense. (Sarah Jayne & Ivan Malekin, Film Producers of Nexus Production Co)



Download: Clara Francesca

Clara Francesca - Creator-Performer
Whilst studying her Bachelors in Laws & Biomedical Sciences at Monash University, Australia between 2007 until 2013, Clara was performing as an Equity Screen & Stage actress in Melbourne, Australia. In 2007 she was awarded Best Actress at The Melbourne Arts Centre Fairfax Stage for her self-devised piece Susan Who? about underage prostitution and local Government ignoring its civilian responsibilities. The piece was inspired after various years volunteering with ACSO (Australian Community Service Organisation) under the supervision of Sister Claire and Tony Calabro. Preceding this play, was Talk To Me, which garnered interest from the Australian National Playwrights Competition in 2005 run by Monash Student Theatre and Co. From this interest, Clara gained great mentorship, friendship and family in the Theatrical Artists Industry with colleagues including Yvonne Virsik, Jason Lehane, Adam Cass, Anthony Crowley, Suzanne Sandow, Liz Jones & La Mama et al.
Between 2007 and 2013 Clara’s performance career flourished, working with acclaimed international artists including Italian TV Star Roberto Zenca Medico In Famiglia, touring shows to Joe Sidek’s George Town Penang International Arts Festival, Malaysia with works written by award-winning writer/poet Gayelene Carbis, a national tour of a solo-bilingual-musical called Spectacular Spettacolo by Lea Porcaro, leading in award-winning feature film Johnny Ghost created by Donna Macrae with Cannes distribution market acclaim, and studying in Peter Kalos’ inaugural Melbourne Actor’s Lab.
In 2013, after having been invited to Anne Bogart’s SITI Company’s Inaugural Conservatory and being awarded The Dame Joan Sutherland Fund from the American Australian Association, Clara flew to New York City to begin her USA acting Career.
In 2019, after gaining entry into both the USA and UK Equity unions with a variety of work from immersive performance art and improv with collaborators such as Chuck Mee, Joy Smith, Gabe Barcia-Colombo, Benita De Wit, Laura Hill, Gia Forakis, Cynthia Clemons, Keith Patchel, New Ohio Theater & classic film and theatre artists Michael Scholar Jr, Alana Radar, Jon Peacock, Kyle Andrews, Blake Walton, Monica Callan, Beth Blatt, Elise Stone, Craig Smith, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble/former Jean Cocteau Repertory, TARTE (Turkish American Repertory Theater & Entertainment), Sarasolo International Arts Festival, Waterbury Theater Center, working on Chekhovian, Shakespearian classics et al], Clara found herself touring her solo show Manifesting Mrs Marx at Edinburgh Fringe, meeting colleagues who would then become instrumental to her development as a theater artist and whom she would call her artistic family.
Clara continues to tour the globe, performing, developing, collaborating and exploring. She loves to create experiences for her audience that have some healing effect and allow for catharsis, even if it is in the form of a good raucous laugh.

Download: Guy Masterson Headshot (image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni 2014)

GUY MASTERSON -Director (click for additional biographical material)
After obtaining a Joint Honours degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Cardiff University in 1982, Guy studied drama at UCLA's School of Drama and started as an actor in 1985 in Hollywood. He returned to the UK in 1989 to study further at LAMDA.
Following a conventional start in plays, film and television, Guy began solo performing in 1991 with The Boy's Own Story and thence Under Milk Wood in 1994 and Animal Farm in 1995. He first produced/directed in 1993 with Playing Burton and participated at the Edinburgh Festival for the first time in 1994. The following 23 seasons saw his association with some of Edinburgh's most celebrated hits, and his company became the Fringe's most awarded independent theatre producer - garnering 8 Scotsman Fringe Firsts, 3 Herald Angels, 25 Stage Award nomintions (including 4 wins) together with numerous lesser awards. He was the force behind Edinburgh's 3 biggest dramatic hits 12 Angry Men, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (2004) and The Odd Couple (2005). His 2010 production of Morecambe transferred to the West End and won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment (plus another nomination for the actor playing Eric). At Edinburgh 2014, his epic 30 actor production of Animal Farm with Tumanishvili Film Actors Theatre of Tbilisi, Georgia, won the Stage Award for Best Ensemble.
As a performer, he was nominated for The Stage Award for Best Actor for A Soldier's Song (1998), Under Milk Wood in 2003, Shylock in 2011, and won in 2001 with Fern Hill & Other Dylan Thomas. He received Edinburgh's most prestigious accolade, The Jack Tinker Spirit of the Fringe Award, in 2003. At Edinburgh 2016 he created his first overtly stand-up comic piece, Barking Mad! which since toured to Australia. At Edinburgh 2017, he directed Hollywood star, Michael Brandon in his debut stand-up piece Off Ramps. In 2018, he co-wrote and directed The Marilyn Conspiracy and most recently, in assition to Shaving The Dead he presented the smash hit of Edinburgh 2019 The Shark Is Broken.
His theatrical commitments have largely kept him out of mainstream film and television, however, he has made the obligatory appearance on Casualty (Christmas Special 2004) and has been the Franziskaner Monk - the main character of a premium German beer - since 2007. He also writes plays, screenplays and poetry.
His passion is to bring great ideas to life and new talent to the stage. He is married to Brigitta and father to Indigo and Tallulah...


Manifesting Mrs Marx began development in 2009 when Clara played Jenny Marx’ daughter, Tussy, in a production called Servant of the Revolution about Karl Marx’ illegitimate child. Once learning that Clara and Jenny share the same birthdate (although a few centuries apart), Clara was even more inspired to write Mrs Marx’ story. A lot of the literature surrounding Jenny has been rather disparaging and demeaning. When researching more deeply, we learn of Jenny’s powerful influence over “Marxism”, her unfinished autobiography and (through a wonderful non-fiction book called Love and Capital by Mary Gabriel) her intellect (often ignored by many other biographers). Manifesting Mrs Marx is about a woman trapped in her times and circumstances, and like many of the “great Western minds” wives, the value Jenny brought to revolutionary ideals is often forgotten. It is evident that without her (and Friedrich Engels), we would not have had such an incredible analysis of Socialism or Capital. Unfortunately dismissing (women) is still alive and well today. The affect of aggressive judgment causes immense shame and can be debilitating. Jenny Marx’ story is of paramount importance and still very relevant. Playwright Clara Francesca asks, ‘Why do we judge one another so aggressively? How can we begin to perceive of one another with kinder eyes? How can we do a better job communicating?’
Created by performer Clara Francesca, the artist was inspired to make a thought provoking and intense play to highlight how we can begin to heal some of the wounds caused over centuries as a result of forced discrimination and imposed unworthiness.

 



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