Second Death of a Mad Wife

(60-75 MINS) Whatever happened to Jack the Ripper’s wife? Bunny Maybrick began life in an opulent Alabama mansion and is ending it in a squalid shack full of cats in rural Connecticut. In another life, under a more notorious name, she was sentenced to life in a Victorian prison for killing her British husband. Now old and preparing for death, Bunny has given away most of her meager belongings, but the heavy...
(60-75 MINS) Whatever happened to Jack the Ripper’s wife? Bunny Maybrick began life in an opulent Alabama mansion and is ending it in a squalid shack full of cats in rural Connecticut. In another life, under a more notorious name, she was sentenced to life in a Victorian prison for killing her British husband. Now old and preparing for death, Bunny has given away most of her meager belongings, but the heavy contents of her soul are harder to leave behind. That is until a local prep school boy, Theo Voss, becomes an accomplice in Bunny’s meandering, mad confession – one that includes adultery, arsenic addiction, and murder. Second Death of a Mad Wife is about a disturbing relationship between two outcasts who share secrets and an appetite for the macabre.
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Second Death of a Mad Wife

Recommended by

  • Cheryl Bear:
    23 Feb. 2021
    A fantastically dark and entertaining mystery as the sinister unfolds! Well done!
  • Dana Leslie Goldstein:
    3 Feb. 2020
    Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos' "Second Death of a Mad Wife" is one of the most original theater pieces I've ever experienced. The line between truth and fiction is deliberately gauzy, and it's a pleasure to be led through the unreliable memories of Bunny Maybrick, as she relates to her possibly sinister teenage caretaker, her few remaining possessions, and her cats (embodied by alternately funny, judgmental, caring and cruel performers). I would love the opportunity to see this play in what would undoubtedly be a rich and macabre full production.
  • Maximillian Gill:
    30 Jan. 2020
    A beautifully rendered Gothic mystery that doesn't even actually feel like a mystery until you have become completely immersed in its darkly layered evocations of unseemly deeds and minds pushed just a little too far past the edge. In the reading, I just let the beautiful language wash over me and take me to places richly populated by finely detailed characters. I am sure seeing the visuals come alive would be an entirely different experience, and I dearly hope I have the chance to see a full production.

Character Information

  • FLORENCE “BUNNY” MAYBRICK aka MISS CHANDLER
    Mature/elderly,
    Female
    An elderly, impoverished, tormented recluse with a fractured memory. She’s trying to slip from this life without her past following. She wears a once-fine but now worn lace dress. American Southern.
  • THEO VOSS
    Late teens,
    Male
    A troubled schoolboy with a more troubling fascination for Miss Chandler. He wears a school uniform. Young man. American.
  • THE LOVER
    30s, Array
    Bunny’s impossibly romantic, terribly shallow, self-serving lover in lust with his best friend’s wife. He wears a tuxedo. Charming and attractive. British.
  • THE BROTHER
    40s-50s,
    Male
    Bunny’s brother-in-law. Arrogant, devious, and rather excitable, he wants to expose Bunny. He wears a grey suit. British.
  • THE OTHER WIFE
    40s,
    Female
    Bunny’s husband’s secret, common-law wife. Resigned and pragmatic, she wants to ally with Bunny. She wears a bland and simple grey striped dress. Working class British.
  • THE BARONESS
    40s-50s,
    Female
    Bunny’s mother. Brassy and flirtatious, she defends Bunny. A formidable woman who dresses elegantly in orange brocade. American Southern.
  • THE UNFORTUNATE DEAD
    20s-40s,
    Female
    *This role may be cast with either one or five actors.* A combination of Jack the Ripper’s victims. They want Bunny to exact revenge on their behalf. They wear mostly red with Victorian-style patchwork velvet and satin. Skittish and unpredictable. Working class British, Irish and Swedish.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Clay & Water
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette
    ,
    2019