Review of Bette and Joan at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton

MHDE'Anita Dobson and Greta Scachi who will be appearing in Bette and Joan at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton.
MHDE'Anita Dobson and Greta Scachi who will be appearing in Bette and Joan at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton.
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A TALE of bitchiness and tragedy blend seamlessly to bring us one of Hollywood’s most epic disputes.

Bette and Joan portrays a day on the set of the cult movie Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, a movie where a long running dispute between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford came to a head.

It is almosta more encompassing biopic of the stars, giving an insight into their careers and personal lives in their many years of stardom.

At times it comes across as two separate one woman shows given there is not much interaction between the two feuding stars. This is arguably one of the show’s weaknesses as it meanders a little too long at times.

However, its strength is definitely its two stars. Anita Dobson’s beauty obsessed Joan gives a performance full of glamour and perfection. It contrasts nicely with Greta Scachi playing Bette Davis, who is increasingly demented as she becomes more melancholic about her life.

Bette and Joan is funny but there is plenty of tragedy which makes it a poignant show.

Review by Steve Mills

Bette and Joan is on till Saturday. Call 01604 624811 or www.royalandderngate.co.uk to book tickets.