Showered with rave reviews and following two sold-out runs in 2016, Lee Tannen’s incredibly personal, funny, bitter-sweet play I Loved Lucy about his 10-year relationship with TV comedy legend Lucille Ball is to transfer to London’s Arts Theatre for a strictly limited 7-week season from Wednesday 19 July.
I Loved Lucy is a personal portrait of an iconic comedic entertainer whose public face is all too well known. But what was Lucille Ball really like? And how did she choose to live at the end of her life? Out of the spotlight. Based on his best selling memoir, Lee Tannen’s funny, bitter-sweet play reveals the real-life Lucy and what is was like being her friend to the end. Most people who have written about Lucy never even met her. They have relied on others to fill in the blanks. Lee relied solely on Lucy. And he paints a rich personal portrait that can only add to our love of a Hollywood legend. Lee Tannen first met Lucille Ball as a child but cemented their close and enduring friendship as an adult. During the last 10 years of Lucy’s life – years mostly spent out of the spotlight, and much of it around a backgammon table – Lee became Lucy’s confidante, spending time in her Beverly Hills and Palm Springs homes, travelling with her and entertaining her on his turf in New York City.
Sandra Dickinson returns to her acclaimed role as Lucille Ball – “A miracle to watch, Sandra Dickinson gives a blazing performance”, The Stage. Born in Washington DC, Sandra Dickinson found fame in the UK in the 1970s as the star of Birds Eye beefburger TV adverts. They established her in a succession of American ‘dumb blonde’ roles, and it was many years before she was able to shake that image. She has since enjoyed a prolific career on stage and screen. Her West End shows include Singin’ In The Rain, A Streetcar Named Desire, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Not About Nightingales (NT and Broadway) and Orpheus Descending (Donmar Warehouse). Her films include Steven Spielberg’s 2018 release Ready Player One, Malice In Wonderland, Supergirl and Superman III. Among many TV roles she is probably best known as Trillian in the cult sci-fi TV series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. She can be heard voicing various roles in Gumball, Counterfeit Cat and she is the voice of Grandma Tracy in ITV’s Thunderbirds Are Go.
Matthew Scott is making his London acting debut as Lee.He recently starred as Adam Hochberg in An American in Paris on Broadway. His other Broadway credits include Sondheim On Sondheim, A Catered Affair and the original company of Jersey Boys. His other theatre credits include: The Light In The Piazza (Philadelphia Theatre Company), for which he won the Barrymore Award; Saturday Night (The York Theater Co); Beaches, Company, ACE and Side By Side By Sondheim (all at the Signature Theatre); Chaplin (La Jolla Playhouse); First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb (The Kennedy Center); A Wonderful Life (Goodspeed Opera House); Eden and Unknown Soldier (The O’Neill Theatre Center); Ragtime, My Fair Lady and Carousel (all at Paper Mill Playhouse); West Side Story (The Muny); Legally Blonde, Swing!, Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard opposite Liz Callaway (all for the Pittsburgh CLO).
I Loved Lucy plays at the Arts Theatre 19 July – 2 September 2017