Theatre Review: AN EVENING WITH DAME JOAN COLLINS: UNSCRIPTED

Joan Collins Unscripted UK Tour

Fun, flirty and fabulous, JOAN COLLINS: UNSCRIPTED is an unforgettable evening in the company of a true showbiz legend

Following the success of her one-woman show ONE NIGHT WITH JOAN COLLINS back in 2014, global superstar Joan Collins returns to the stage for a brand new UK tour, JOAN COLLINS: UNSCRIPTED.

With a career spanning six decades, Dame Joan Collins is one of the UK’s most recognisable performers. The English actress, philanthropist and best-selling author has appeared in more than 118 feature films and TV shows and is best known for her starring role as Alexis Carrington in DYNASTY. She is also a prolific writer and her novels and memoirs have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 30 languages.

As expected from a show called UNSCRIPTED, Collins’ latest show sees the global icon take to the stage to answer impromptu questions from the audience about her life and career. At age 83, Collins is still as glamourous as ever, arriving onto stage in sequined black pant suit which she designed herself. She is also as sharp and as witty as ever, entertaining the crowd with stories and secrets from her celebrated life and career as one of the world’s most glamorous and intriguing actresses.

The star is joined on stage by her husband Percy Gibson who acts an interviewer, guiding the conversation and fielding questions from the audience. Collins’ amazing career was born in the golden age of Hollywood, with the young actress arriving at tinsel town at the tender age of 21. Collins’ talks openly about her time in Hollywood, from the lavish parties she attended at Billy Wilder, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly’s homes to the gossip surrounding the well-publicised feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Questions regarding her beauty regime, family life and fashion swiftly follow, as well as the inevitable questions about role as Alexis Carrington on DYNASTY [1980]. But the most interesting section of the show is when the star opens up about the more difficult periods in her life, most notably her 1996 court case against book publisher Random House. A large screen behind the star shows footage from the courts, with Collins fighting back tears as she watches a lawyer attempt to tear her apart. The star tells the audience about how she feared she was losing the case until a friend advised her to ‘channel her inner Alexia’ to dramatic effect.

While there is no doubt that Collins is a sharp, witty and entertaining individual, the unscripted nature of the show doesn’t quite work as well as expected. The lack of structure means the show lags in parts, with big gaps in between questions as the two runners, ‘Alexia’ and ‘Crystal’ rush around the auditorium with a mic in hand. The jump between different topics also mean large sections of Collins’ career are brushed over or missed completely.

That said, the dynamic between husband and wife works well, particularly when Percy also contributes to the story. The pair make an engaging double act, with a funny story about a clothing disaster on their wedding night making for some great entertainment.

Whether you’re a fan of Collins’ books, films or TV shows, you’re sure to enjoy JOAN COLLINS: UNSCRIPTED. A fun, flirty and fabulous evening in the company of a true showbiz legend.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

AN EVENING WITH DAME JOAN COLLINS: UNSCRIPTED tours nationally until 3 October.

About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1