‘A staunch woman never weakens’

Grey Gardens

London Copy Director, Philip Browning kicked off the New Year with a trip to Southwark Playhouse to see the musical ‘Grey Gardens‘. 

Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter ‘Little Edie’ were aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy – solid gold American aristocracy who fell far and fast, ending up living in poverty and squalor in ‘Grey Gardens’, their 25 room Long Island mansion, which they shared with 52 cats and a couple of racoons.

Based on the addictive/exploitative 1975 documentary which captured their loving and destructive relationship, this musical embraces everything from the brilliant patter of ‘The Revolutionary Costume for Today’ (‘The best kind of clothes for a protest pose / Is this ensemble of pantyhose’) to the elegiac ‘Another Winter in a Summer Town’.

Simultaneously stanch and fragile, Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell play it to the decaying manor-born.