Pros: Joan Collins offers a refreshing and candid look at her life and career. The opportunity to ask questions following the performance was welcomed.
Cons: A lot of the details of her life were new to me, and therefore some of the stories lost their appeal and humour.
The glamorous Joan Collins returns to the Leicester Square Theatre for a week long run of her autobiographical show detailing her life and career to date. As soon as the Dynasty theme and clips start running, it becomes obvious that Joan recognises her audience – particularly if the cheers and applause are anything to go by. The stage is decorated with a large throne, a glass table and an old-fashioned telephone which rings occasionally, often mimicking a phone call received by the actress as she shares anecdotes and stories with her adoring fans. Joan is dressed to the nines and her change after the interval enforces the fact that still loves the glitz and glamour that she enjoyed during the height of her career.
She begins by telling the audience that she had a happy childhood and has no sob story where that is concerned. Coming from a showbiz family she had no doubt that she would become an actress and began appearing on stage at a very young age. Her move as a young adult to Hollywood of course involves some name-dropping – stories include meetings with Bette Davis, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe and Peter Sellers (in her question and answer session following the show, she even mentioned meeting the great Elvis Presley). Her name drops can become tiresome but having worked with some of the best, it would be silly to think the two hours would pass without mention of some of the famous faces she has worked with over the years.
Her ability to look back and laugh at some of her career moments is what makes Joan’s show so down to earth and refreshing. For example, her story of the way in which the production companies told her to lose weight for roles is quickly followed by clips of her eating in scenes from various productions.
Fans of Joan Collins will no doubt love this candid look at the star’s life and career, however for those who are only vaguely familiar with her, the two hours may not pass by as quickly. Nevertheless her friendly and open banter will leave people without a doubt that she is a gem with the ability to entertain audiences of all ages.
Director: Percy Gibson
Designer: Oliver Sones
Booking Until: 9th February 2014
Box Office: 08448 733433
Booking Link: http://www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/home