Looking for Lansbury
By Fiona-Jane Weston and Patrick Lambe
Touring Saturday 5th September– Saturday 5th December 2015 (St James Theatre 16th and 17th October)
We all know her as star of stage and screen from Auntie Mame to Murder She Wrote but who is Angela Lansbury?
She was a wartime evacuee aged nine, cabaret star at 17, MGM contract player before she was 20, three-‐time Oscar nominee, star of musical theatre, serious drama and TV, granddaughter of one-‐time Labour leader George Lansbury and daughter of West End beauty Moyna Magill; Dame Angela Lansbury has had a glittering career. Along the way there have been knockbacks and disappointments but through it all she has returned, supplementing her natural talent with resilience, determination and sheer hard graft.
Celebrated chanteuse and mistress of dramatic cabaret, Fiona-‐Jane Weston looks into the life of this true showbiz legend and, through songs and words and a little help from the Jessica Fletcher Appreciation Society, tries to understand the events and influences from the past which have created the actress we all love today. Weston sings well-known classics from Mame, Dear World, Gypsy, and Sweeney Todd, along with freshly revived Jazz and country numbers.
Playing in London on Angela Lansbury’s actual 90th birthday, Looking for Lansbury strips back the covers and pays tribute to this remarkable woman. With a career dating back to the 1940s, Lansbury is an icon with a truly universal appeal, admired for her Hollywood films and musicals and the much-‐loved classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Fiona-Jane Weston is no stranger to feminism. Since her youth, she has pondered over the place of women in society and the advances they have made over the past 100 years. In an era which sees more women in boardrooms and positions of power than ever before, Weston uses the arts in recognition of those women in ‘herstory’ who have contributed to the freedoms and rights of women today. From Weston’s advanced historical research, Looking for Lansbury will include authentic Suffragette speeches and quotes as well as Angela Lansbury’s real words.
Throughout her career Fiona-Jane Weston has played to capacity houses both in London and New York with a variety of shows. Alongside Looking for Lansbury, she is also currently touring Wartime Women: the Khaki Cabaret. This show is an affectionate tribute to the courageous women who lived during both World Wars. Performed with charm and wit…energetically researched…Weston somehow maintains a light touch, imparting intriguing nuggets of information at every step ★★★★ (The Times)
Fiona-Jane Weston comments, There are lots of similarities between me and Angela; we are both English and, like her, I also use song as a vehicle to tell stories and explore the emotions and motivations of a character. Doing a one-woman show about her gives me a great excuse to cover some terrific material. Hers is a fascinating untold story, not only her own incredibly varied and extensive career, but the influences in her formative years by both her actress mother, and her politician grandfather George Lansbury, who was imprisoned for his support of the Suffragettes!
Title: Looking for Lansbury
Running: time 2 hours, with interval
Twitter @FionaJaneWeston, @St_JamesTheatre, #LookingForLansbury
Writer and Performer Fiona-Jane Weston
Writer and Director Patrick Lambe
Musical Director William Godfree