Veronica Lake: Hollywood blonde bombshell explodes on stage
Drowning in Veronica Lake
Directed by Simon Coleman
Until September 1
Veronica Lake was Paramount Pictures' 1940s blonde bombshell. She had just the right measure of sexual allure, acting talent and off-screen scandals – along with her trademark peek-a-boo hairstyle – to make her one of the more successful and vilified actresses of the period.
In Drowning in Veronica Lake she appears on stage looking very much like the Columnbia Pictures icon, swathed in a vast white gown which traps her to the stage, anchoring her to her past.
She tells of her life, her career, her romances, her children and her exploits. She tells of her famous co-actors and notable acquaintances: Alan Ladd, Marlon Brando, Aristotle Onassis,
She also paints a picture of the loneliness of being a screen goddess, the shallowness of Hollywood and her problems about knowing who she really is.
Her delivery is direct to the audience – a mixture of cabaret, confessional and promotion. She and the audience never really know whaich is the truth and which is a passing illusion created by the silver screen industry.
Actor Alex Ellis presents a beautifully flawed character in her solo, 90-minute performance, her face expressing an array of emotions as she recounts the highs and lows of her life.
It is a stunning and mesmerising performance enhanced by an intelligent and sensitive script by Phil Ormsby and expressive soundscape arranged by Colleen Davis.
Ellis also plays the part of her drawling Brooklyn mother, who famously sued her daughter, and in both roles manages to restrain herself from effecting irritating American accents.
A brilliant cameo featuring an extraordinary talent.