‘Mrs Baranovski’ is a tragicomedy about a deluded, love-starved, billionairess. To her dismay, her Russian husband, a former super-model, has become an obese, slob of a man. He pays her little attention - preferring the company of men. Then enters hard-working Joe, the new, dishy groundsman who is attentive but naive to Mrs Baranovski’s requests. Infatuated with him, she engineers intimate moments for them to share. On her pretend deathbed, she gets Joe to ‘woo her’ with erotic, biblical poetry. Their ‘first dance’ is achieved by pretending to choke on food so Joe has to hold her closely for the Heimlich manoeuvre. Their ‘first kiss’ is achieved by pretending to drown so Joe has to rescue her and perform mouth to mouth resuscitation. In her wishful imagination, she believes they are in a romantic relationship so when Joe rejects her unmistakeable sexual proposition, Mrs Baranovski is heartbroken. Inspired by Lorena Bobbit’s new book on revenge she seeks ruthless retribution to ease her pain. Joe has an ‘accident’ and suffers multiple injuries from a fall. A heartbreak love song plays while Mrs Baranovski watches Joe leave in an ambulance and reminisces about their ‘relationship’ and the life they could have had.
Genesis 39: 1-20, tells the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, represented by Joe and Mrs Baranovski in this modern-day adaptation. Joseph, bought as a slave by the Egyptian Potiphar, is put in charge of this wealthy household. Potiphar’s wife is attracted to this handsome man and propositions him, saying ‘Come to bed with me!’ Despite her persistence, he refuses. This spurned woman sets Joseph up - falsely accusing him of trying to rape her and has him imprisoned. In this contemporary version, her heinous crime has been changed. Instead, Mrs Baranovski sets Joe up to have a serious accident to cause him physical pain and trauma. Trapped inside a full body cast, he is unable to escape and is metaphorically imprisoned until his injuries heal. This ancient story is retold by turning it into a quirky comedy with both tragic and dark moments. Unrequited love, rejection and heartbreak are universal themes to which we can all relate, together with misunderstandings that can happen between two people. The bible doesn’t reveal what happens to Potiphar’s wife. I hope to explore this missing ending and show that ‘holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.