DROWNING IN VERONICA LAKE
Written by Phil Ormsby
Director: Simon Coleman
presented by Flaxworks
at The Garden Club, 13b Dixon Street, Wellington
From 22 Feb 2011 to 26 Feb 2011
The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 6 Mar 2011 to 8 Mar 2011
Globe Theatre, Dunedin
From 25 Mar 2011 to 27 Feb 2011
16th Avenue Theatre, 174 16th Ave, Tauranga
From 22 Oct 2011 to 23 Oct 2011
Circa Two, Wellington
From 1 Nov 2011 to 12 Nov 2011
TSB Showplace, New Plymouth
3 Jun 2012
Dance Studio, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Hamilton
From 22 Jun 2012 to 23 Jun 2012
Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland
From 22 Aug 2012 to 1 Sep 2012
Reviewed by: John Smythe; Ewen Coleman (The Dominion Post); Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald online); Sharon Matthews; Deb Meldrum; Helen Sims; Ewen Coleman (The Dominion Post); Ngaire Riley; Gail Pittaway; Johnny Givins; James Wenley;
From under-age Miss Florida to Hollywood icon. From glamorous to anonymous, adored to discarded. Veronica Lake - Dead but not lying down.
Revisit the Golden Age of Hollywood via the sordid underbelly of the film industry in Flaxworks latest production, Drowning in Veronica Lake - a darkly comic tribute to the eponymous 1940's screen siren.
Trapped in an other worldly green room somewhere between Paramount and Purgatory the fictional personality of Veronica Lake graces us with a highly theatrical account of her meteoric rise to fame and glamour and equally spectacular decline. Alex Ellis plays the faded star, who has been dead for 40 years but is still optimistic for a comeback.
“You could put all the talent I had into your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision” Veronica Lake.
Veronica Lake was one of Hollywood's most glamorous stars in the 1940s. At the peak of her brief career she campaigned tirelessly for the US war effort, took tea with Eleanor Roosevelt, piloted her own plane from coast to coast, was famously sued by her own mother and was bankrupted by the IRS before a rapid descent into obscurity, alcoholism and a premature and lonely death as an unknown 50 year old cocktail waitress.
Typecast early in her career as the ice cool blonde, the archetypal femme fatale, she was thrust into the limelight at an early age, as Hollywood's newest sensation. Naïve and unprepared she left in her wake a polarised industry who either loved or loathed her.
In Drowning in Veronica Lake the untangling of the truth about her career, her alcoholism, her fractured family and her five husbands becomes a battle for centre stage - between the romantic view of the world presented by her old movies and the mocking and cynical personality of Veronica Lake.
Writer, Phil Ormsby and director Simon Coleman re-interpret the multiple and conflicting versions of Veronica Lake's life story on a set designed to emphasize the odd juxtaposition of a live performer playing a movie star as she fights to reclaim her status as screen siren.
Calling herself ‘a product of Hollywood', Veronica Lake knew her experience was typical of many actors used by studios to churn out product and then discarded but she resolutely refused to give up. She understands that in the end what we really want from our celebrities is entertainment, and in Drowning in Veronica Lake she obliges us with a touching, funny and grandly self-delusional tale that reverberates beyond her brief career and quite literally beyond the grave.
Now in glorious living colour - Veronica Lake – created, designed, manufactured by Hollywood.
Drowning in Veronica Lake plays at The Garden Club, Dixon Street, Wellington, as part of Wellington Fringe 2011, from Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 February at 8pm. Tickets are $16 and $13 concession and available from BATS Theatre www.bats.co.nz or 04 8024175.
Drowning in Veronica Lake plays at The Basement Theatre, Lower Grey's Ave, Auckland, as part of Auckland Fringe 2011, on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 March at 5:30pm and Tuesday 8 March 7pm. Tickets are $16 and $13 concession and available from i-TICKET www.iticket.co.nz
Drowning in Veronica Lake plays at The Globe Theatre, Dunedin, as part of Dunedin Fringe 2011, on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 at 7pm and Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 2011 at 2pm. Tickets are $16 and $13 concession and available from TicketDirect ph. 03 477-8597 (Booking fees may apply).
Drowning in Veronica Lake plays at 16th Avenue Theatre, 174 16th Avenue, Tauranga as part of the Taurang Arts Festival 2011, on 22 and 23 October 2011 at 7pm.
SUNDAY 3 JUNE 2012
Drowning in Veronica Lake
2pm, TSB Showplace
1hr (no interval)
premium $39, A reserve $29.
BUY TICKETS NOW
A long-weekend of tasteful cabaret, comedy and burlesque shows to tickle your fancy! Seven of Australia's and New Zealand's best comedy and cabaret shows – in the TSB Showplace, Devon St, New Plymouth, Taranaki.
FUEL FESTIVAL 2012, Hamilton
Dance Studio, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Fri 22 & Sat 23 June: 1pm, 7.30pm
Flaxworks in association with Q theatre presents
Drowning in Veronica Lake
Wednesday 22 August – Saturday 1 September 2012, at Q theatre.
Saturday 25 August, double feature special event - Drowning in Veronica Lake followed by the 1941 classic film Sullivan's Travels.
Drowning in Veronica Lake plays at Q theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland, from Wednesday 22 August – Saturday 1 September at 8.00pm. There is one matinee performance on Friday 24 at 1pm and an early show on Sunday 26 at 5pm, no show Monday 27.
The specially priced tickets for the Saturday night double bill include Drowning in Veronica Lake at the Loft, followed by Sullivan's Travels and just to complete the mood we'll throw in a glass of wine and a box of Jaffa's.
Veronica Lake: Alex Ellis