The Triumph And Madness
Of Vivien Leigh
By Rick Foster
A Co-Production with
Red Thread Theatre
Directed by Darleen Pickering Hummert
Starring Josephine Hogan as Vivien Leigh
Photos by K.C. Kratt
THE CRITICS SING:
"Vivien: The Triumph of Josephine Hogan…"
Anthony Chase, Artvoice
“…the perfect actor, Josephine Hogan…. the perfect director,
Darleen Pickering Hummert…. Ms. Hogan commands the stage….
She…is amazing….a powerful actor, perhaps at her own zenith….
This is the real deal. You should not miss this one.”
Neal Garvey, BuffaloRising.com
“We are enchanted. Josephine Hogan in…an illuminating performance.”
Willy Rogue Donaldson, Nightlife Magazine
“From the moment Josephine Hogan enters down the center aisle
of the New Phoenix Theatre to the last flicker of Chris Cavanagh’s exquisite lighting “Vivien” rules…. A jaw-dropping word joust with
critic Kenneth Tynan provides many of the evening’s wittiest lines.
The entire enterprise (is) breathtaking.”
Doug Smith, Buffalo Rocket
THE NEW PHOENIX THEATRE ON THE PARK and RED THREAD THEATRE co-produced the Western New York premiere of the award-winning one-woman play, VIVIEN: The Triumph and Madness of Vivien Leigh, by Rick Foster. This production was the second collaboration between the two theatre companies and was presented at the New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park off of South Elmwood, Buffalo, New York. Set and Lighting Designer was Chris Cavanagh and Sound Designer was Tom Makar.
VIVIEN: The Triumph and Madness of Vivien Leigh tells the story of legendary, award-winning actress Vivien Leigh. It is 1967, and Vivien dreams she wanders onto a darkened London stage. She has been cast in the West End premiere of Edward Albee’s A DELICATE BALANCE and is present for her first read-through of the play. Finding the theatre empty, Vivien takes the audience along on a journey through her triumphs and struggles. As her reveries unfold, she imagines she is being visited by Noel Coward and a myriad of prominent people. The play focuses on what makes Leigh memorable -- two great films, her 20-year marriage to one of the twentieth century's great actors, Laurence Olivier and a manic-depressive (bi-polar) personality that was as oversized as anything a Hollywood screenwriter might invent.
Millions remember Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" and Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire," roles that earned her Oscars. The play covers territory that is not nearly as well known: the ecstasies and jealous rages she shared with Olivier; the struggles after she turned forty, years filled with fading-beauty roles she resented and with manic-depressive attacks that often led to hospitalization and electro-shock therapy.
The play VIVIEN: The Triumph and Madness of Vivien Leigh creates a surprisingly complex portrait of the talented but troubled actress, often finding commentary in her plights from the roles she famously played. She takes her various characters' words and turns them into weapons with which to battle life's indignities. The production of Rick Foster’s 1997 one-woman play won a Drama Desk and three Dean Goodman Choice Awards.
FROM A LETTER BY TARQUIN OLIVIER, VIVIEN LEIGH'S STEPSON AND LAURENCE OLIVIER’S SON:
"This is simply terrific. What an extraordinary piece of writing. Rick Foster's range of understanding and recreating Vivien amazed and moved me with every page; all so marvelously in character."