Xenides: World premiere takes a look behind the glamour of Wheel of Fortune

Photo: Black Swan State Theatre Company.
Photo: Black Swan State Theatre Company.

THE world premiere of the musical Xenides takes a hilarious and sad peek at the world behind the glamour of the long-running game show Wheel of Fortune and co-host Adriana Xenides.

The show was beamed into plenty of Australian lounge rooms between 1981 and 2004.

Playwright Claire Watson has said the inspiration for the musical resulted from media coverage after Xenides death at just 54 in 2110 when stock footage was used of Xenides spinning Mutton Dressed as Lamb on the wheel.

Watson was furious.

How could Xenides be mocked so unglamorously and disrespectfully, she’d wondered.

Argentine-born Xenides co-hosted Wheel of Fortune for 19 years.

She never missed a single performance, wore 4000 dresses, turned 200,000 vowels, walked about 500 kilometres in stilettos and her high wattage smile never faltered.

But her rags to riches story was largely misunderstood and misrepresented and Watson is out to correct that.,

It takes four actors to represent Xenides and familiar Black Swan members Adriane Daff and Laila Bano Rind, along with newcomers Katherine Tonkin and Harriet Marshall, deliver fine performances.

A special guest at the post-show party was John (Burgo) Burgess who paid tribute to the woman with whom he co-hosted Wheel of Fortune for so many years.

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT: Xenides

WHERE: Studio Underground, State Theatre, Perth.

WHEN: Until November 11

TICKETS: Black Swan State Theatre Company