After visiting the Old Vic the other night, among the many important discussions about really important things over a much needed glass of something, the Whingers wondered, “Whatever happened to Bette and Joan“?
Malcolm McKay’s play, based on Bette and Joan – The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine, has been whispered about in certain quarters for some time, as it deals with the infamous rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Andrew and Phil, always on the lookout for exciting and dangerous new projects had their appetites well and truly whetted by the prospect.
A quick google search revealed that it’s still in the Old Vic’s plans as part of the Old Vic New Voices Season, though it sounds as though it may still be way off (or way out more likely). According to What’s on Stage it is to be set around the sound stages of that 1964 piece of grand guignol Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte though Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? sounds more likely. Either way it just gets better and better.
But no casting has been announced yet. Imagine finding actresses to fill those roles. Oh to be a casting director!
As the wine flowed so did WEW’s imaginations. After seeing the extraordinary Michelle Gomez in the unexpectedly hilarious Boeing Boeing, Phil is rooting for her to be cast as Joan Crawford. Could anyone do imperious better? Or if an older performer is required, Maureen Lipman popped into Phil’s frivolous mind. Better yet Faye Dunaway seems fairly available these days. Or perhaps Sir Ian McKellen could drag up for the Old Vic again?
Andrew of course took it all a little bit further: “Imagine” he mused slurping back more liquid brain fertiliser, “Judi Dench and Maggie Smith… Judi can play anyone”.
Although we could probably pull it off quite convincingly ourselves, the Whingers are inviting readers to let their imaginations run riot and tell us just who they’d like to see in what has to be the camp-fest to end them all. Leave us a comment outlining who for which role. A prize for the best suggestion. And possibly the eternal gratitude of Mr Spacey.
Update: As reported by the book’s author below, the Old Vic is unlikely to be staging this. But the competition still stands – in fact it’s got better as there is now actually a prize. Check it out here.