Who’s Afraid of Rachel Roberts?*** (Assembly Roxy Edinburgh, 17 August 2013)

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Theatre

Rachel Roberts was a gifted stage and screen actress, recipient of many awards, who was swept up on the crest of the new wave of British cinema in the early 1960s and deposited in Hollywood. Married to a-lister Rex Harrison, who we are told “liked a bit of rough”, she could not escape her humble Welsh roots and, beset by insecurities, embarked on a downward spiral of drugs and booze, leading to four suicide attempts only three of which failed. Playing her in this monologue, Helen Griffin (co-writer with Dave Ainsworth) revels in displaying all the falling star’s increasingly outrageous behaviour, making us both cringe and howl with laughter at each ghastly faux pas. She also conveys the tragedy of a woman whose life is out of control.  A little too long at 70 minutes, but as small scale showbiz bios come, it is probably amongst the best.

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