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Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

World Class Drama : played & written by Queer Icons

 

PBS have just announced that  Emmy Award winner Holland Taylor‘s compelling portrayal of the legendary Texas Governor Ann Richards,  will screen on  Friday, June 19 at 9 p.m  Richards a Democrat and only the 2nd women Governor of that State, brought a vitality and outrageousness to the governorship that  Texans had not  seen in decades. 

A fervent feminist  and an enthusiastic reformer of Prisons, her one (large) black mark was when she signed into Law anti-homosexual Section 21.06, the state’s “Homosexual Conduct”  which she had previously campaigned to repeal the law. But, as governor, it was her signature that criminalized same-sex sexual relations in Texas

Richards’ rise to power also ushered in one of the most painful periods of her life. Her marriage broke up, and she was also forced to confront her heavy drinking. Richards later admitted, “I smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish.” She entered rehab and emerged sober.

‘ANN’ is a truly wonderful no-holds-barred portrait which Holland Taylor wrote and starred in on Broadway, gaining  her a Tony Nomination.  It takes a revealing look at the impassioned woman who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family and makes for very compelling viewing .  

Miss Taylor incidentally can currently be seen playing the powerful studio executive  Ellen  Kincaid in Netflix’s HOLLYWOOD.

 

 

Meanwhile from across the Pond comes the exciting news that Alan Bennett’s iconic monologue series Talking Heads will be re-made with an all-star cast. 

Bennett’s original  monologues all written with his wonderfully dary and somewhat Northern acerbic wit  tell the stories of six different repressed souls: a man dominated by his mother, a vicar’s wife, an inveterate letter writer, a hopeful actress, a recently widowed woman, and an elderly shut-in.

A huge success when they were first aired on BBC TV in 1987 with starry performances from Stephanie Cole, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Patricia Routledge, Thora Hird and Bennett himself

 

Now the BBC are filming them again using existing sets, with casts and crews following strict social distancing measures. Not only that – the production will also see the premiere of two new pieces written by Bennett last year.

Sir Nicholas Hytner who has directed several of Bennett’s plays/films including  The History Boys and The Madness of King George is directing a couple of the new pieces,  He said: “Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads are among the masterworks of one of the very greatest writers in TV, film and theatre history.It is a wonderful bonus that two of the 2020 Talking Heads are totally new, written only a short time before the current crisis began.”

The new cast include : Jodie Comer, Monica Dolan, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Sarah Lancashire, Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamat, Maxine Peake Rochenda Sandall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Imelda Staunton and Harriet Walter .

Watch this space for more details.

 

A woman of no importance (1982) with Patricia Routledge 

A Streetcar Named Desire is queer literary genius Tennessee Williams’ most popular work and is considered to be one of the best and most critically successful plays of the 20th century,  Gillian Anderson  gave an award winning performance as Blanche DuBois  in a Young Vic production directed by Benedict Andrews in 2014.  They transferred it  St Anns in Brooklyn in  2016 , and now it is being streamed FREE on May 221st on the National Theatre’s You Tube Channel


Posted by queerguru  at  11:27

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