The Play | PerformancesPerformance News  |  Detailed Production Info


Add yourself to our mailing list

Marcy Lafferty wrote, directed and starred in "Vivien: The Movie, The Marriage, The Madness" which was the impetus for the current stage production, a more comprehensive study of Vivien Leigh.

The play begins as Leigh herself sweeps onto the stage for her last press conference still the glamorous movie star. But it's an illusion. Long past Scarlett's prime, no longer the Georgia peach, she is the thorny English rose who orchestrated her career and romance with Sir Laurence Olivier like Grant took Richmond, no matter the cost.

She drifts between past and present, the past always present, in an attempt to define herself this one last time, exposing Viv, the world's darling, desperate for truth and stripped to the bone. Driven by the duel demons, manic depression and tuberculosis, Leigh believed herself to be defined by three roles Scarlett O'Hara from 'Gone With the Wind,' Blanche Dubois from 'A Streetcar Named Desire,' and Lady O, the wife of Olivier and was tortured by them.

Ms. Lafferty has appeared in over 60 plays internationally. Highlights include "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and Simon Grey's "Otherwise Engaged" as Divina Saunders. She played the Eastern United States summer circuit in "The Tender Trap" and "Period of Adjustment." Most recently she portrayed Portia in "The Author's Voice" at the Stella Adler Theatre. Ms. Lafferty toured the nation in "Love Letters" with William Shatner to whom she was married for 20 years.

While a cum laude student at University of Southern California, creator Marcy Lafferty was a member of Festival Theatre USC USA, which was the first American troupe to participate in the Edinburgh International Drama Festival, appearing as Abigail in The Crucible, Loededis in Dear Friends, Katherine in Suddenly Last Summer, Elise and Maggie in After the Fall and as a singer-dancer in Guys and Dolls and Pal Joey. She met director John Edw. Blankenchip through the program, who, 30 years later was instrumental in bringing Vivien Leigh The Last Press Conference to the stage.

Ms. Lafferty raises world champion American Saddlebred show horses on a beautiful farm in Lexington, Kentucky. She splits her time between Lexington and Los Angeles.

About Vivien Leigh:

Shortly after "Gone with the Wind" was published in Britain, an obscure English actress named Vivien Leigh decided that she would play Scarlett O'Hara. Two years later she landed the role.

Such was the power of "Serendipity" combined with outsized will that forged Vivien's life from the time she was a small child in India---to the manor born---until she became the titled chatelaine of a Thirteenth Century abbey she called home and a West End theatre, partnered and adored by the greatest actor in the English speaking world, Laurence Olivier.

Having decided that she would possess Scarlett, Vivien set her sights on Olivier as well. That they were both married to someone else at the time deterred her not at all. And with the single-mindedness of her most famous namesake, she landed him. On screen and off, they were the most glamorous and famous lovers of their day. Scarlett and Heathcliff became not only the darlings of the Hollywood set of the 1940s, but the toast of two continents as well. The Theatre Royals of England

Theirs was a lifescript more glorious than their movies, set against a backdrop of Hollywood and England when gold not glitter was the valued commodity, but destined to die an agonizing death. A love destroyed by an intruder as impossible to defeat as Sherman's army. A mental illness called "manic depression."

With even more will than it took her to conquer Scarlett and Olivier, Vivien Leigh was deternlined to fight this monster. Cognizant to her eternal shame of the terror she became in the grip of a manic bout, the elegant lady became a cabbie's whore; the delicate beauty, a waterfront bawd; the angel that floated on a pink cloud kissing the lives of her friends attacked them with a viciousness and cruelty- she rallied on.

This is the story of a woman, blessed with all the Gods could bestow, at war with the devil. Brave and beautiful, talented even more in living than in art. An intellect who spoke 7 languages.

A stage actress who owned the title role in the most popular motion picture ever made. An English rose who garnered two Academy Awards for her portrayal of Southern heroines. Vivien Leigh was Tinkerbell and Lady Macbeth. A modem legend who is remembered with love and admiration. For the bounty of her legacy eclipses the horrors of the madness that caused her such shame. When she succumbed to tuberculosis at age fifty-four, she had been preparing for Edward Albee's play "A Delicate Balance" ... the title of which seems her most fitting epitaph.