Villain in Tinseltown is a story about George Sanders the Oscar-winning icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age, whose films included All About Eve and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Off-screen, a humorous intellect with a sensitive soul. On-screen, a type-cast legend in deliciously wicked roles as a villainous cad, a god, a devil, a critic, a tiger – a persona which becomes his
“On screen I am invariably a son-of-a-bitch, in life I am a dear, dear boy.”
He yearns for a simple life, yet stars alongside legends and marries an infamous and extravagant socialite actress, Zsa Zsa Gabor. A debonair, out-spoken rebel of great insight -“Acting occupies such a tiny portion of my brain” – he paves the way for later mavericks.
Everyone wants what he has: why doesn’t he? In a back-stage confession of the absurdity of Hollywood as it really is, Sanders delivers cutting anecdotes and chilling truths without anger or apology.
His witty compassion to those on the receiving end of his acid tongue gradually unveils a warning – to avoid alienating ourselves from what is real, and rather to consider the pure “Art of Living.” It’s a universal message for 21st century performers, influencers, wannabes and social media users alike – little has changed in 70 years of celebrity!
His cynicism is highly amusing but the machine is controlling a world-weary man hidden inside his layers of success and charming frivolity. Feeling uninspired and jaded by his existence he descends into self-destructive alcoholism: “Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long
Adapted from Sanders’ own “Memoirs of a Cad”, these re-posted insights from a vanished age are skillfully brought to the stage by David Harrold.
Jonathan Hansler stars as George Sanders with the show running from the 18th to the 29th May 2021 at the White Bear Theatre. www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk
COVID SAFETY: Please be assured that there are temperature checks at the theatre door, mask are obligatory, and the seating arrangements have been halved. There is also fresh air blowing through the theatre.