Dame Diana Rigg describes her one-woman show as “an entertainment”, but, for a budding theatre blogger, it is more a tutorial. Developed from her book of the same name, first published 25 years ago, Dame Diana’s talk relates to bad reviews given to herself and to fellow thespians over a period of more than 1,500 years, although she expands it to give a potted history of theatre. Much of the time she reads from a rather dry script (it is very tempting to write something really poisonous at this point in an attempt to get included in volume 2 of the book), enlivened only by occasional delightful anecdotes about “Larry”, “Ralph” and the like in her days as a walk-on – one of these, relating to Vanessa Redgrave, is as cutting as any critic could muster. Eventually, Dame Diana sets the script aside and becomes herself, a delightful, relaxed and witty lady. It is just a pity that she could not have done this earlier.
Performance date: 15 August 2014