'Whatever Happened To The Cotton Dress Girl?'

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
'Whatever Happened To The Cotton Dress Girl?'

Yesterday afternoon I had the great pleasure of seeing the final performance of a fabulous new one woman show at the New End Theatre in Hampstead.
The piece is set in the studio dressing room of the one and only Bette Davis during the filming of the classic movie 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?'. It opens with Bette arriving to change and meet friends for dinner. In the next 1hr and 10mins we are taken thru a tour de force of the ups and downs, loves and dramas of this great actresses early career. It's set at a time in her career, 1962, when she really thought that was the end -little did she know then that 'Baby Jane' would kick start her career on a second wind! There are a lot of stories most people know and love especially when she lunges into her co-star on the movie, Joan Crawford. Weather we know the stories or not it is just fascinating to see the brilliant actress, Paula Wilcox, bring her life in front of our very eyes. A very simple set and stunning lighting make Ms Davis just come to life and on many occasions a whisper went around the audience as the similarity became scary!
I knew about this play when it opened 5 weeks but could only make yesterdays performance BUT the good news is is that it is now on fast option to transfer to the West End for another longer limited run.
Paula Wilcox is very well know to TV audiences since the 60s and 70s when her biggest hit was 'Man About The House' but can also be seen today in 'Emmerdale'
If, and I certainly hope it does transfer, you wont see a more fascinating performance on stage in a very long time.

A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 7/21/08 at 04:50 PM