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Bette & Joan at Garrick

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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Two fading stars, alive and bitching
Anton Burge is a writer, actor and playwright, specialising in writing for women, focusing on celebrated women of the 19th and 20th centuries.

His celebrated play Bette & Joan opened in the West End in 2011 starring Greta Scacchi as Bette Davis and Anita Dobson as Joan Crawford.

He is also at work on a biography of Bette Davis: A Life Lived in Melodrama and his most recent play Mrs. Pat opened at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, starring Dame Penelope Keith.

But it is his Bette and Joan which is making it's Western Australian debut at Garrick Theatre Club (inc) this February
directed by Lynne Devenish and featuring two powerhouses of the WA community stage Siobhan Vincent as Bette Davis and Sarah House as Joan Crawford.
Bette and Joan, Anton Burge, Lynne Devenish, Siobhan Vincent, Sarah House, Garrick Theatre Club
Bette and Joan and Sarah and Siobhan (Photographs Michael McAllan and public domain)

When it comes to considering the great stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, two of the most glittering names were those of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Both movie actresses were of similar stature, both were commumate masters of their craft and both had whims of iron and wills of steel.

Despite their many similarities, the two were often rivals for the same part and darlings of the tabloid Hollywood Harpies, Hedda Hopper, and Louella Parsons.

In 1962 Bette was fifty-four and Joan (born Lucille LaSeur) was fifty-eight, both moving out of the desirable age for actresses in 1960s Hollywood.

Bette has gone back to her theatrical roots, appearing on Broadway, when she is approached by Joan with the script for a horror film - Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

The two agree to make the film and the whole action of the play takes place during the filming of this horror thriller. We see the two passing the time between takes - Joan drinking her Pepsi laced with vodka while signing photographs for her fans and Bette drawing viciously on countless cigarettes and musing on her life, loves and career intermingles with filming and the interaction between the two.

Anton Burge has written a brilliant and viciously funny script. A challenging play of rich humour, deep insight and an exploration of the psyches of these two Grande Dames of drama.

Bette and Joan runs from 8:00pm February 13th to the 29th, with three matinees at 2:00pm staged at Garrick Theatre, 16 Meadow Street, Guildford.

Tickets cost $25 (Adult), (Concession $22) and may be booked by ringing Elaine on 9378 1990, emailing: on on-line at TryBooking.

Bette and Joan is not suitable for children. Contains coarse language.
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Why? A damn good play of two dames
When: 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Phone: 9378 1990
Where: Garrick Theatre, 16 Meadow Street, Guildford, WA
Cost: $25 (Adults) $22 (Concession)
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