by Anton Burge
Directed by Paul Gledhill
Bette & Joan depicts the two stars, in adjacent dressing rooms, between takes on the set of Baby Jane. While Joan manages her anxiety by lacing her Pepsi with vodka and signing photographs for her beloved fans, Bette chain smokes and muses on her love life, and her ability to pick a decent script, never a decent man. Behind the bitching and the practical jokes we see each woman's insecurities and regrets, and their rivalry is revealed to be underpinned by grudging respect as they attempt to identify their new roles in life as well as in their careers. A very well written play with acerbic wit and an opportunity to create two very complex characters.
: Hollywood actress, 54
: Hollywood star, admits to 54, though is actually 58