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Art Director - Wilbert Vandrop / Ulli Hanisch
Music by Stewart Copeland
Screenplay by Steven Berkoff From his own Stage Play
Edited by John Wilson
Produced by Lance W Reynolds / Christopher Habnheiser
Directed by Steven Berkoff
Helen is upper class, who is having an affair with Steve, who has attended the right schools and is married to Sybil, the daughter of an East End scrap merchant! However Sybil is aware of Steve's affair and is intent on revenge, to the point of hiring Les, an East End private investigator, to follow his every move. Sybil starts an affair with Les, her plot to destroy Steve thickens! Will Helen and Steve survive to continue their decadent lifestyle? Will Sybil finally get her jealous revenge? Will Les overthrow the upper classes? Degenerate.. Disgusting.. Deliciously Funny! It's pure Decadence!!
(c) 1994 CAPITOL FILMS 116 MINS COLOUR ...
Steven Berkoff adapted his popular stage play into this highly entertaining film in which he co-stars with Joan to make a memorable pairing. Steven's regular theatre partner Linda Marlowe was his first choice to play the lead role, as she had on stage, however the producers insisted on a more starrier name. Helen Mirren and Miranda Richardson were in the frame, but were rejected, with Diana Rigg turning down the film.. Steven had also sent the scripts to several actresses whom he thought might be suitable, however many of them refused to read the script or in some cases, couldn't read it! Joan was also a little reluctant at first about it as she found the dialogue a little salty and the rhyming slang dialogue hard to master. Steven however read through the script with her at her Belgravia flat, finally persuading her to do it.
|JOAN IN THE FASHION SCENE|
" Joan filtered through my mind when I wrote it. I wanted someone with extraordinary sexual powers, enormous magnetism. The character I created was of such an exotic nature, a bizarre combination of a woman who was very arrogant, very elegant, someone who was accustomed to this life. Joan was one of the very few actresses you might find hanging about in England who I felt could play Helen, she did it so well, the film is a remarkable tribute to her talent."
Joan is exceptional in the dual roles of Helen and Sybil, as she goes from elegant to tawdry.. She found it difficult at times working with Berkoff, who incidentally co-starred with her in the lavish 1985 mini-series 'Sins'. But she did admire him as an actor and had only good things to say about him...
"When Steven asked me to do the part, I was taken aback when I read the script. I thought it would be terribly difficult to do and I did not see myself in it. But after Steven came to my flat and read through it with me, I got an inkling of how it could work. He is an enormous genius. I think a great many actresses in England would give their eye tooth to do this part. I am just a jobbing actress who takes on parts I like!"
|JOAN AS HELEN IN THE FASHION SCENE|
"In general, the material I've had as an actress had not been very good throughout my entire career. That is why I am happy with 'Decadence', because the material is there and I do a pretty good job with it. But I do have a certain pride in that I started as a teenager and I'm still working. I can't really think of many actors or actresses that have done that. It's something that I am not given a lot of kudos for."
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(c) 2011 Mark McMorrow...