Sunday, April 14, 2013


Review: One Night With Joan (Leicester Square Theatre)
Review: One Night With Joan (Leicester Square Theatre)

Review: One Night With Joan (Leicester Square Theatre)

Jamie is bowled over by the hilarious and fascinating life story of Joan Collins, a formidable Hollywood icon, starring in her revealing one-woman show.

Summary : An absolutely fantastic one woman show from a true Hollywood legend. Funny, touching and engaging. See it whilst you can.

Picture this, a bare stage at The Leicester Square Theatre except for a rather regal chair, a phone on a small table, a vase of lilies and some framed photos. A large screen displays images of Joan Collins over the years, oh so many years. Yes. This is One Night With Joan.
The reason for the bare stage is clear once Collins enters dramatically from stage left with the most sparkling ensemble you’ve ever seen, or are likely to see again – and a personality that would fill an arena.
‘I was born in the second third of the 20th century,’ she opens flirtatiously, seventy-nine and still killing it with humour. The audience lapped it up.
We hear how Collins cracked her way into the tough Hollywood industry without the help of her father, a theatrical agent. It’s hard to believe a woman at this age is still going strong – a gruelling round of radio and TV promotion was done to promote this tour.
Collins insists that remaining positive is the key to her youthful state of being, ‘I’m not one of those people who analyse everything, not at all,’ she says. ‘I don’t think where I’m going to be in five years, I think where I’m going to be in two weeks, because I’m going to be in New York. And I try to make each day like a mini-lifetime’.
What a lifetime it’s been. Collins recalls so many memories of her time during the golden age of Hollywood, it’s hard to keep up. She shares the time she was told to go on a diet and given little green pills, ‘Dexedrine, the same ones they gave to Judy Garland’ to lose weight. ‘How different things could have been’, she ponders before going on to note how she was lusted after by some of the hottest pin-ups of the last 50 years (and how she refused them all, ‘well, most of them’).
Collins is a true legend who lights up the stage and keeps the audience engaged throughout the entire show, even whilst she’s in the middle of an inevitable change of ensemble. She talks of how she hit the jackpot and became a star then she lost it all, only to reinvent herself as a TV soap star, novelist, diarist, fashion expert and a star of adverts from Cinzano to Snickers.
No subject is off-limits for Collins. Born in Paddington during the Second World War she discusses the causes of broken Britain, including bad manners, liberal parenting, benefit scroungers, reality TV and the fat woman in front of her at the cheese counter.
After a standing ovation Collins returns, sits down and opens the show up to the audience for a Q&A, with a cup of tea, of course. Like a true Brit.
Her one woman show works as great therapy, life-coaching and an abdominal workout in one. Joan Collins is a formidable talent, ‘Life is a predator,’ she said. ‘You’ve got to eat it before it eats you’. See it whilst you can.
One Night With Joan Collins is touring nationally and is currently booking until 28 April 2013. Tickets start at £30.00.

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