Heavens Of Invention is an inside look at two greats from the movie industry in an intriguing double bill at Jermyn Street Theatre next month.
Written by Mark Burgess The Man with the Golden Pen stars Michael Chance as Ian Fleming.
Fleming, creator of James Bond, Secret Agent 007, stands before the audience, pink gin in hand, a terrified look in his eyes … At 42 he is about to do the thing he most fears; he’s getting married!
It is 1952 and Fleming is putting the finishes touches to the first Bond book, Casino Royale, and Bond is with us; an icon of class and everything Fleming aspires to.
Directed by Louise Jameson
The second Act is Larry starring Keith Drinkel as Laurence Olivier and directed by Daniel Finlay.
It is 1975 and Olivier begins the day in his New York hotel suite. He is still recovering from a series of life-threatening illnesses and has feared he would never be fit enough, or even asked, to work again.
But a surprise telephone call from film director John Schlesinger has banished those fears and breathed new life into the most resilient of actors.
The part being offered was that of the sinister former Nazi dentist Christian Szell. Olivier’s co-star would be Dustin Hoffman, and the film…Marathon Man.
As he prepares for his first day shooting Olivier reflects on his past and considers his future.
He talks of his great film & stage roles, his marriages to Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh and Joan Plowright, his children, of Gielgud, Guinness, Coward & Hoffman and his intense preparations for playing Szell.
A few years later, Olivier is about to film King Lear for television. He knows it is to be his last great role.
We learn of his punishing fitness regime, the twenty or more films and TV plays he has made since Marathon Man, his final days at his beloved National Theatre and, most dramatically of all, his lengthy battle with attacks of terrifying stage fright.
Heavens Of Invention runs from March 2-7.