Joan Shepard's CONFESSIONS OF OLD LADY #2 Plays Edinburgh Fringe, Now thru Aug 27
Musical memoir CONFESSIONS OF OLD LADY #2, spiced with songs, is presented by well-seasoned Broadway and Hollywood actress Joan Shepard at the Fringe. At the age of 7 she was on Broadway, cast by Laurence Olivier. This prominent child actress has never looked back.
She has worked with many revered names in theatre, both British and American. Co-stars in Joan's anecdotes include Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Liza Minnelli, Quentin Crisp and Lenny Bruce. A comic high point is her surreal encounter with Dame Judith Anderson at a Hollywood cocktail party. Joan's show is a mix of gravitas and gossip. She shares her priceless stories...freely!
A born actress, Joan is also a gifted raconteur, regaling us with her extraordinary work in 9 Broadway shows and decades of television in Hollywood. Tallulah Bankhead set her on fire with a cigarette onstage. Joan nearly worked in an Elvis Presley film, but as a busty young blonde she was requested to be "very nice to him" and as a newlywed she declined to kneel before the King.
She waited another 47 years before she got another chance to be in a movie -- Disney's College Road Trip, in which she played Old Lady #2, a moniker which so amused Joan that the title inspired this solo show, a musical memoir.
Energetically approaching 80, with no wish to retire, Joan is a survivor of the rough waters of performing. Her reminiscing is heartfelt and humourous, with 8 songs, including music by Charles Strouse, Joe Boussard, Arthur Sullivan, Joan Shepard and John Clifton, who is the musical arranger.
Song titles include "Ex-Child Actress", "How Lovely To Be A Puppet", "Greasepaint" and "His Eye Is On The Sparrow", and "His Eye is On The Sparrow" and "I'll Always Believe in Fairy Tales". Joan has special love for the magic of children's theatre. Always petite, she was still playing 14-year old boy Jim Hawkins at the age of 40, while her husband Long John Silver. She had to remain 112 pounds so that she would not sink the ship!
Off-Broadway, Joan acted with friend and neighbour Quentin Crisp in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. Guess which one of them played Lady Bracknell?
Joan gave up Oxford for RADA, and never regretted it: “It’s a lifetime love affair, me and theatre”. She continues to produces and perform and her children are actors.
While in Edinburgh, Joan will be hosting a Tea Party for Prominent Child Actresses. Details TBA.
Joan Shepard’S CONFESSIONS OF OLD LADY #2 plays The Vault Annexe of St Augustine’s Church (11a Merchant Street, Old Town) at 13:25 (1 hr), today, 14 August-27 August (except 20). Admission is FREE! Questions? Call the Box Office at 0131 510 0022 or visit www.paradise-green.co.uk.