New Comedy Reveals Duchess as Dangerous WomanDate: 4 March 2003
Following the release of more government papers concerning King Edward's abdication in the 1930s, the Duchess of Windsor, aka American divorcee Wallis Simpson (pictured), has recently been back in the news. Two new screen projects concerning the Duchess - starring Faye Dunaway and Gwyneth Paltrow - are also reportedly in the works, but in the meantime, a new stage comedy has got the jump on them.
A Dangerous Woman opens at London's Jermyn Street Theatre on 11 March 2003 and continues to 19 April (previews from tonight, 4 March). Set in Paris in 1972, the Duchess reflects on the events of her life on the eve of her return to England behind her husband's coffin.
The relationship between American socialite Wallis Simpson and Edward Prince of Wales - later King Edward VIII - shocked the world and rocked the monarchy in the 1930s. In this new play by Paul Webb (The Lodger), the Duchess' life is traced from her roots in Baltimore to Buckingham Palace and also to Berchtesgarten, the country retreat where, in a move that would influence events leading up to the Second World War, she meets Hitler and plots to restore Edward to the throne following his 1936 abdication.
Directed by Pip Pickering, the two-hander stars Jennifer Croxton and Sinead O'Keeffe, as the old and young Duchess. A Dangerous Woman is the inaugural offering from Balcony, a theatre production company established to present plays from and about the years between 1918 and 1939. Framed by two world wars, this was a critical period of political, artistic and cultural movements.
- by Terri Paddock