Bette and Joan
by Anton Burge
Wednesday 17 - Saturday 20 May 2017.
Neston Civic Hall.
Directed by Jo Rymer
Bette Davis - Jean Lawrence
Joan Crawford - Tia Gill
Once grand dames of Hollywood, by 1962 archrivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were in danger of becoming has-beens, and then an opportunity came along to appear together in a new movie called ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’.
This play by Anton Burge premiered at the Arts Theatre in London in 2011 starring Greta Scacchi as Betty and Anita Dobson as Joan.
‘ Bette and Joan’ depicts the two stars in adjacent dressing rooms between takes on the set of Baby Jane. While Joan manages her anxiety by lacing her Pepsi with vodka and signing photographs for her beloved fans, Bette chain smokes and muses on her lovelife and her ability to ‘pick a good script’, but never a decent man.
Behind the bitching and practical jokes we see each woman’s insecurities and regrets; their rivalry is revealed to be underpinned by grudging respect as they both attempt to identify their new roles in life as well as in their careers.
“Here we have a perfect game of oneup-womanship in which barbed insults fly in both directions.”
Lyn Gardner, Guardian
“An evening of great entertainment where vituperation is the star”
Paul Callan, Daily Express.