A new play, written and performed by Rose Collis
Directed by Keith Drinkel
‘If I really had a free hand I’d wish to broadcast on my hundredth birthday, fly round the world…Oh, I forgot — I have often wanted the moon…’
Clemence Dane – eminent author, artist, playwright, journalist and Oscar-winning screenwriter − is asked by her great friend Noel Coward to revive her acting career and play the famous role he once created for her: eccentric medium ‘Madame Arcati’ in Blithe Spirit.
As she prepares to give him her answer, she reflects on their long personal and professional relationship − as well as memorable episodes from her chequered career, including penning the controversial early 20th century lesbian novel Regiment of Women, her experiences in both World Wars, and her adventures in Hollywood with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Walt Disney, James Whale, Vita Sackville-West… and The Marx Brothers.
But her favourite role was being the devoted and doting ‘den mother’ of the ‘Tavistock Set’ − her beloved circle of friends and acquaintances who gathered in her ramshackle Covent Garden flat and her caravans in Sussex for 30 years, including Coward himself, Ivor Novello and Joyce Grenfell.