To coincide with the release of her much-anticipated memoir ‘Behind the Shoulder Pads’, global superstar Dame Joan Collins has embarked on a brand new tour for 2023 and yesterday (Saturday 21 October) she ‘landed’ in Brighton for the penultimate show.
Featuring seldom told tales, enchanting anecdotes and rare and fascinating footage from her seven decades in show business, the evening was full of the usual wit, candour and of course glamour that we have come to expect from this British-born Hollywood legend.
As an award-winning actress, author, producer, humanitarian and entrepreneur, Dame Joan Collins’s career places her in the unrivalled ranks of an international icon.
The stage was set with two high-back white armchairs with a small table between and three screens at the rear of the stage showed stills, professional and home movie clip from Dame Joan’s remarkable life.
I can honestly say that I’ve not been at a theatre show where at the star’s entry, resplendent in a long golden dress, on the arm of her husband Percy Gibson, the whole audience exploded in such cheering and applause. It nearly lifted that roof off the Theatre Royal which, bearing in mind the age of the building, was slightly concerning!
Her husband, Percy Gibson, was by her side, interviewing her which was a very nice touch and he held his own well with immense humour, candour and charm. It was also touching the way that he ensured that she was comfortable at all times.
We were regaled with stories from across her life, family and career including the birth of her sister Jackie, about which she was distinctly non-plussed at the time.
We whipped through RADA, her father not being impressed with his daughter being an actor, work in UK theatre and film before Hollywood came knocking and stole ‘our Joanie’ away for decades.
Her stories from her life as a starlet were, for me, the highlight of the first act as we hung on every charming, humorous and sometimes heart-tugging word. This was where she grew, through experience, into the strong independent woman who took on the film, TV and publishing establishment and won.
After the interval with our star, in black, silver and sequins, the tables were turned and it was, us, the audience who asked the questions. Too many subjects to cover here but we found out why Tony Curtis was nicknamed Toxic, what Laurence Harvey was like in ‘real life’ and a myriad of others.
The night ended with the answer to which decade she’d like to go back – the 80s “as long as I could take Percy with me”.
Although on the Graham Norton Show the night previously she mentioned how tiring touring was, it seems as though she does enjoy it and Brighton certainly did.