Wanting the Moon
A new play written & performed by Rose Collis - directed by Keith Drinkel
Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th September at 7.30pm (no performance on Wednesday 21st)
*First London Theatrical Run*
If I really had a free hand I’d wish to broadcast on my hundredth birthday, fly round the world…
Oh, I forgot — I have often wanted the moon…’
Clemence Dane, eminent author, artist, playwright, journalist and Oscar-winning screenwriter, is asked by her great friend Noel Coward to revive her acting career and play the famous role he once created for her: the eccentric medium ‘Madame Arcati’ in Blithe Spirit. She observes, ‘I have enough ghosts around me nowadays without playing someone who makes a living from conjuring them up…’
As she prepares to answer him, she reflects on their long personal and professional relationship − as well as memorable episodes from her chequered career, including penning the controversial early 20th century lesbian novel Regiment of Women, her war experiences, and her adventures in Hollywood with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich… and The Marx Brothers.
And, as she ‘summons up’ these ghosts from her past, she contemplates her own imminent future in the other world: ‘Perhaps I’ll come back and haunt you all. But I promise not to do it when Madame Arcati is summoning up the spirits.’
Rose Collis (Writer & Performer) is a nationally and internationally acclaimed LGBT writer, performer and producer, based in East Sussex, whose written work in books, journalism and theatre spans four decades. In 2012, she created ‘Trouser-Wearing Characters’, the first ever solo musical cabaret show written and performed by a female author. Since its world premiere at the Brighton Fringe, it has been performed at festivals throughout the UK and, in spring 2013, completed a triumphant five-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. In February 2016, Arts Council England funded the show’s first-ever regional tour, to coincide with LGBT History Month. In November 2014, she received her first ACE funding to write and produce Not Wanted On Voyage, a new two-hander about gay 50s media personalities, Nancy Spain and Gilbert Harding. Bread and Roses Theatre hosted its very successful London rehearsed reading in February 2015. In 2015, she was appointed the first Writer-in-Residence by the National Trust and Literature Works for their Writing Places project. Her new ACE-funded play, Wanting The Moon, was successfully previewed earlier this year at the Marlborough Theatre and Arundel Jailhouse, and plans are now underway for it to tour in the UK and internationally.
Director: Keith Drinkel
Photography: Amanda Baker
The writing and development of this production was made possible with financial support from Arts Council England, and with match-funding and funding-in-kind from Blueprint 22, Pink Fringe/Marlborough Theatre, Jill Gardiner, Krazy Kat Theatre and Raine Pavey-Dorn.
In January, Wanting the Moon played three preview shows to packed houses at the Marlborough Theatre and the Arundel Jailhouse, and this is what audiences said:
Mark Burgess, playwright and director:
‘Thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s preview performance. Entertaining, informative, witty & moving at times. Congratulations to performer/writer Rose Collis & director Keith Drinkel.’
Terence Pepper, Senior Special Advisor on Photographs, National Portrait Gallery:
‘What a fabulous first night this was. So glad to attend with sold out show. Amazing writing and acting and perfect costume.’
VG Lee, writer and comedian:
‘Yesterday evening Rose Collis was superb as Clemence Dane, in her new play ‘Wanting The Moon’ and I don’t use ‘superb’ lightly! Last night’s performance was sold out and rightly so – this was an intelligent, impeccably acted and sometimes moving hour that seemed to fly by. I also applaud her director Keith Drinkel.’
Duncan Hall, The Argus:
‘This world premiere was a preview performance, and as such Collis was still finding her way into inhabiting the role. As Collis gains confidence, the lines should reveal some of the clever wordplay at the heart of the script, and should make for a great introduction to a largely forgotten character.’
Other audience comments:
‘The physical comedy moments were highlights. The hour went so quickly, I was absorbed. The last line left me hanging a bit, trying to interpret it. It was a really nice touch to see the Coward portrait at the end.’
‘A reflective monologue/memoir from an older eccentric, slightly faded, full of love, good anecdote and funny British actress/artist.’
‘Great script, great performance.’
‘It was great! Really beautifully written and brilliant characterisation.’
‘Congratulations, Rose Collis, on a fascinating foray into the world of Clemence Dane.’
Running Time: 55 minutes
Ticket purchases are non refundable. Concession prices apply to students; under 18s; pensioners; those on disability and unemployment benefits; Equity, BECTU & SDUK members; Portico Places cardholders. As a young venue we are still upgrading and developing the space, any additional donations are much appreciated and will be used towards improving the theatre even further and keeping the venue going in the long-term.