Bette & Joan - The Final Curtain

Sarah Thom and Sarah Toogood
Foursight Theatre, Richard Jordan Productions, Jacksons Lane and Assembly
Assembly George Square

Bette and Joan (Davis and Crawford) were renowned for their inability to get along.

Sarah Thom and Sarah Toogood, who have together devised and perform this show, obviously believe that camp and bitchy comedy of the most extreme type is the best means to portray two legends of the silver screen.

The set-up is that we are in 1989 as Bette is about to die and Joan is enlisted to take her through to Hades, or wherever.

The commissioning angels are the famous gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, played by the same actresses on intentionally shaky black and white film.

For around 80 minutes the stars insult each other, usually at screeching volume, egged on by the gossips.

Along the way, some of the plotting of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is injected to please devotees.

This is a show that will probably delight fans of Bette and Joan but might not have very much wider appeal.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher