Elizabeth McGovern


Anatol Yusef

Written by

Elizabeth McGovern

Based on the book The Secret Conversations by

Peter Evans & Ava Gardner

A fading star of Hollywood's golden age, now living a quiet life in 1980s London, hires a journalist to write her biography in order to bring in much needed income. The journalist can’t believe his luck. From poor Southern farm girl to a powerful Hollywood goddess her story is pure celluloid. A devastating beauty whose hard drinking, hard loving lifestyle kept the gossip columnists busy as her movies thrilled the punters. The ultimate femme fatale - Ava Gardner.

“I either write the book or sell the jewels and I’m kinda sentimental about the jewels”

Not always intentionally, Ava spills the beans on her three husbands to often humorous affect: Mickey Rooney, a serial cheater so notorious that even his mother warned Gardner about him; bandleader Artie Shaw "a dominating son of a bitch - always putting me down" and Frank Sinatra.. "We were fighting all the time. Fighting and boozing. It was madness. But he was good in the feathers". This compelling new play explores the fractured relationship between the public and private lives of one of Hollywood's great icons.

Behind closed doors with

Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw,
Howard Hughes & Frank Sinatra

101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9BN

18 January - 26 March 2022

Produced by Karl Sydow

David Mirvish, PW Productions, Raymond Gaspard, Bev Ragovoy/Dawn Smalberg, Ivan Mactaggart & Iain Gillie

Produced with the support of the Ava Gardner Trust

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