Dame Joan Collins: Behind the Shoulder Pads | The Hawth Crawley | Review

Dame Joan Collins: Behind the Shoulder Pads

The Hawth, Crawley

To coincide with the release of her new memoir “Behind the Shoulder Pads” the award winning iconic star of stage and screen Dame Joan Collins alongside husband Percy Gibson, has embarked on a brand new tour.  She talks about her glittering career in film and stage, regaling the audience with anecdotes and stories of her life, alongside fascinating footage of her seven decades in showbusiness.

Dame Joan entered the stage on the arm of her enigmatic husband Percy Gibson, glamorous as always in a sparkling red sequin dress, a woman of many talents – we later learnt that she had designed the dress herself.  Percy led the show, directing questions towards his wife, which she answered with wit and charm.  Entertaining the audience with dozens of stories, starting from her childhood, and her birth into a showbusiness family, and talking about her late sister Jackie.  She then moved on to how she started in showbusiness, firstly by attending RADA and then films in the UK before being “bought” by Hollywood.  Regaling us with tales of life as a young starlet, the famous actors she met and worked with, some of whom became good friends, including Paul Newman, Marlon Brando and Gene Kelly.  She really brought to life a golden era in Hollywood through her narrative alongside film and photographs of those times. Of course, for this writer, the most memorable being her time spent in Dynasty, and a period of time that she particularly loved and talked about with fondness, of her time on the show and the people she worked with.  

The second half of the show, in which she appeared in another sparkling gown, this time black sequins, was dedicated to audience questions.  These included, her favourite decade (the 80’s), a day in her life she would relive again (her marriage to Percy), and numerous other questions before finishing off with a question praising her fabulousness and how she remained so glamorous and beautiful (it’s in the genes darling!).  All in all it was a wonderful intimate evening celebrating an iconic star, I loved the gentle humorous interaction between Dame Joan and Percy, and I left the show having enjoyed it tremendously.

Reviewer: Gill Burke