theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
Writer and performer Rose Collis has been awarded funding from Grants for the Arts, supported by the Arts Council England, to create a new stage play about 50s media stars Nancy Spain and Gilbert Harding.
The Research & Development project will culminate in two ‘script-in-hand’ performances in late February 2015 at in Brighton and London, to which theatre industry professionals and other interested groups and individuals will be invited. Collaborative partners for the project include Shelley Silas, Kinny Gardner, Thea Bennett, Keith Drinkel, the Marlborough Theatre (Brighton), Bread and Roses Theatre (London) and Sussex young people’s organisation, Blueprint 22.
Rose Collis, author of Spain’s biography A Trouser-Wearing Character, says ‘In the 1950s, Gilbert Harding − a guilt-ridden and unhappy gay man − was the most famous personality on British television who loathed his fame. Nancy Spain was the most famous female all-media personality, at ease with her sexuality and her celebrity status. I’ve always thought their unlikely friendship – including the long-running and hilarious rumours that they might marry − was a subject worthy of dramatisation.
‘I’m enormously grateful to the Arts Council for this grant – the first public funding I’ve ever received – and also to the Peggy Ramsay Foundation, which contributed vital match-funding. I am also thrilled to be collaborating with project partners of the highest calibre who will make valuable contributions to the creative process and the outcomes.’
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