Jewish Chronicle

"Lafferty wins our sympathy for her subject
and admiration for her performance."

Friday 14th September, 2001

At first it seems improbable that Marcy Lafferty will convince as one of the world's most beautiful film stars. But a little way into her one-woman show, Vivien Leigh, the Last Press Conference, Lafferty sweeps aside all doubts and pulls you into the life of the legend who achieved her ambitions of playing Scarlet O'Hara and marrying Laurence Olivier.

There aren't many new facts here we know already about Leigh's turbulent marriage, the line of A-list lovers followed by D-list losers - but it still makes for an absorbing, uninterrupted one-and-a half hours' worth of theatre that avoids sentimentality and leaves you nostalgic for an era when movie stars were much less powerful than the studios.

Lafferty (whose own Hollywood history includes a 19-year marriage to William Shatner, aka "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk) plays the English rose with a close, if imperfect, English accent. But there's an affecting dignity to her portrayal of Leigh's slide into electric-shock-treated manic depression that wins our sympathy for the American actress's subject and admiration for her performance.