Lee Tannen’s I LOVED LUCY is an enthralling piece of theatre and admirably written, telling the story of his friendship and companionship with Lucille Ball, the American comedy actress.
Director Anthony Biggs has gotten out of his stars, Sandra Dickinson as Lucy and Matthew Scott as Lee performances that are exceptional and the way he has Matthew talking directly to the audience takes on the appearance that we are watching a television documentary about the star. The play is jam packed with dates, event mentions and successfully puts a timeline on happenings that were pivotal to their friendship including the 61st Oscar Ceremony that is beautifully created even down to matching the gown that the real Lucy wore on the actual night. When the two actors do have scenes together the chemistry is magnificent.
This is a history lesson but also there is passion to the play that demonstrates that Lucy was a hard lady to say no too and that when you were her friend it was for life despite the rows that could interrupt that friendship. Both Miss Dickinson and Mr Scott are superb in this and the current accolades that have been bestowed on Miss Dickinson are so rightly deserved. It’s very clear that she has researched the role and her portrayal is so heartfelt that when the laughs come and there are plenty her timing mimics the skill and aptitude of the lady she is playing so expertly.
Lee Tannen has written a memoir that some could accuse him of being self indulgent to have turned into play , I have to disagree this is a stunning piece of theatre that offers an informed insight in the art of being famous and the power that comes with that fame. A gorgeous story about true friendship.
4 stars , runs to the 2nd September , Arts Theatre , Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB , Box office 020 7836 8463 artstheatrewestend.co.uk
Photos by Alessia Chinazzo