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The Most Gorgeous Lady Blessington | Dickens 2012

Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

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The Most Gorgeous Lady Blessington

The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
Fri, 12th October 2012 - Fri, 12th October 2012

 

Tangent Theatre Company in association with The Wallace Collection present

"The Most Gorgeous Lady Blessington"

To purchase tickets for the performance please email:

info@tangenttheatre.co.uk

By Martyn Wade
Featuring Jilly Bond (Pascale in "Island", National Theatre)
Directed by Ed Viney

7.30pm
12 October 2012

In the Great Gallery of The Wallace Collection
Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Tickets £35 per person

Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of Marguerite, Countess of Blessington, which is part of the Wallace Collection, shows the sitter in all her beauty and splendour. But in 1849, when it hung in Marguerite’s Kensington home – Gore House - the painting served as an unpleasant reminder of faded glory and changing fortune. "The Most Gorgeous Lady Blessington" tells a story of money, fame, scandal and the press – a story with striking contemporary parallels.

In “The Most Gorgeous Lady Blessington”, Marguerite and her young, spendthrift companion, the Count d’Orsay, have become virtual prisoners in Gore House, as creditors circle the house and financial ruin threatens. Outside lurks an unscrupulous, gutterpress-man, Westmacott. As he waits, he single-handedly brings Marguerite’s past to life – her marriage to the indulgent, indecently rich Lord Blessington; celebrity as a society hostess; and, above all, notoriety on account of her relationship with d’Orsay – husband of her stepdaughter. Then an American journalist pays a call on her ladyship …

The play includes extracts of Lady Blessington’s writing, some of which can be heard in Chrome Audio’s CDs "A Journey through France" & "A Journey through Italy". ('Superbly read' - Daily Telegraph; 'hugely entertaining' - The Guardian; 'Lady Blessington’s "Idler in Italy" is now on my wish-list' - Sunday Times)

Tangent Theatre Company has commissioned the play from dramatist Martyn Wade, who has adapted classic works for radio (including "The Barchester Chronicles" and "The Pallisers"), and written biographical plays (subjects include Benjamin Britten, Oswald Mosley, John Wesley, and Diogenes the Cynic). His latest play for Radio 3, about a tennis court quarrel between the Earl of Oxford and Philip Sidney, is due to be recorded early in 2012.

Jilly Bond (Pascale in “Island” at the National Theatre in Spring 2012) will play Lady Blessington, as she did in Chrome Audio’s production of the Journeys through France & Italy. She is known to listeners to Radio 4 for her roles of Bridget in “The Archers” and Susan Grantly in “The Barchester Chronicles”. In the spring of 2011 she appeared as Mrs Warren at the English Theatre of Hamburg, in “Mrs Warren’s Profession”, which Die Welt described as “the perfect rendition of Shaw” and The Times said of her reading in “A Book of Liszts”, again for Chrome Audio, that it was ‘flawlessly performed’.

She will be joined by a distinguished actor, playing all four male roles in the piece, which promises to be an enthralling tour de force.

visit website

 

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