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Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference

by Marcy Lafferty

Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference

by Marcy Lafferty

Translation: Lamia Beligan
Director:
Liana Ceterchi
Sets:
Liana Ceterchi
Technical Director:
Cristian Paraschivescu

Premiere: 17.10.2017

Duration: 1 h 30 min / Pause: No

Dates
24 Mar 2019 (The Black Box H ...) 20:00
13 Apr 2019 (The Black Box H ...) 20:00
Tickets

20 lei

40 lei

Vivien Leigh at the National Theatre of Bucharest

Play presented with the approval of Josef Weinberger Limited, London

As of 17th October 2017, the audience of the National Theatre of Bucharest shall have the opportunity of meeting Vivien Leigh, the famous Scarlet O’Hara from „Gone with the Wind”, portrayed by Lamia Beligan in an exceptional recital to be held on the stage of the Black Box Hall. This year marks 50 years since the death of Vivien Leigh, the greatest British actress of all times. “I am not a movie star – I am an actress. To be a movie star represents a life so fake, lived merely for the sake of fake values and for publicity”, declares Vivien Leigh, the one who marked the stage and screen of the 20th century and who continues to still fascinate nowadays.
Entitled Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference, of the American authoress Marcy Lafferty and directed by Liana Ceterchi, the show represents a touching reconstitution of the last days from the life of Vivien Leigh, now a shadow of the worshiped star of yore.
The show is a production of the Excelsior Theatre and was taken over by the National Theatre of Bucharest within the framework of the programme Open Doors for Everyone. Highly successful with the Romanian audience, this one-woman show has also been acclaimed on major stages from Paris and London.

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

 

Photo by Steluta Popescu, Florin Ghioca and Catalin Eremia

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Sunday
24
03
2019
The Black Box Hall 20:00 Buy tickets
Saturday
13
04
2019
The Black Box Hall 20:00 Buy tickets
Vivien Leigh: Lamia Beligan                     

Reactions of the Romanian audience:
„I have witnessed the past days a play enacting the dramatic life of the wonderful actress Vivien Leigh, the protagonist of the famous movie Gone with the Wind, the one who has been considered the most beautiful woman of her time and who died at the zenith of fame at the age of 53. The show is actually a recital, a one-woman show performed with sensibility and outstanding artistic intensity by Lamia Beligan who achieves – alone on the stage for one hour and a half – a veritable tour de force. Graceful and brilliant, dramatic and charming, Lamia Beligan succeeds in becoming a true alter ego of the heroine, to whom she also resembles physically in a really troubling way.
I am not a theatre critic and I do not usually write about shows, but I have felt the urge to share the impressions of a happy spectator.” Ana Blandiana

"A recital of a great actress, with a solid school of the calligraphy of utterance, with a perfect mastery of voice, but also with that something ineffable of inspiration paying a visit to the chosen ones! Liana Ceterchi's direction, of a wonderful devotion, the choice of music (Max Bruch) impeccable! Bravo, Lamia Beligan, admiration and respect!" Dan Grigore

"How does Lamia Beligan evolve in this role of total physical commitment? With delicacy and poise, with a filigree suaveness, I would say purely feminine, but also emanating a subjugating force and expressiveness. Authentic laboratory of acting versions, where she uses her burning gaze, this role also confers to Lamia Beligan the possibility of a gestural florilegium, unleashed by the director. (...) In „Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference”, Lamia Beligan confers pantomime valences to stage movement, giving her hands, legs, shoulders the chance to be protagonists per se.

If the play written by Marcy Lafferty is, as „Variety” notes, „an introspective tour de force into the tortured soul of an artist”, Lamia Beligan’s performance enlivens an entire acting career thanks to a legendary character, with whom she flirts up to identification. For Lamia Beligan, „Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference” is the role of perfection and of consecration".

Horia Ghibuțiu, Journalist Blog - Lamia Beligan, Triumph in „Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference” at NTB  

"Already from the first minutes of the representation, the music plunges the spectator into the fervor of a passion. The one who has remained eternally “The English Rose” is still talking with the voice of Scarlett O’Hara, smiling funnily. However, the illusion does not last for long. In only a few minutes, there will be no Scarlett, no trace of Georgia “peach”, only an ingenious woman who orchestrated her career and love story with Sir Laurence Olivier. (…).

Director Liana Ceterchi withdraws strategically behind Lamia Beligan’s acting. The staging preserves the spirit of the play created by Marcy Lafferty and becomes a perpetual oscillation (quasi-cyclothymiac) between two poles: past-present, bliss-misery, agony-ecstasy, fascination-coldness, black-white. (…)

Fragile, but strong, Vivien Leigh from the stage lets herself get carried away on the wings of memories (…).

The whole show is a perfect success, it communicates at an emotional level, unveiling the permanent frailty of artists".

Mădălina Dumitrache, Web Cultura – Gone with the Wind, Towards the Paradise of Memories  

"Helping her to overcome her limits, Liana Ceterchi takes best advantage of all dimensions of the great talent, bestowed upon Lamia Beligan. Beyond the spoken retort, she conveys vibration, emotion, energy, soul fragments, through a simple gesture, through a simple glance".

Gabriela Hurezean, Muses and Arms - Vivien Leigh, the Glory and Misery  

„Lamia creates vibration and resists as an Actress whose light is burning incandescently. Lamia overcomes her fears, helplessness, crises and reinvents herself in every moment of dedication. "Our pains are leading, every time, to honesty” (Vivien Leigh).
Accepting the challenge to live up to the legend, Lamia sublimely flaunts her acting complexity. Between the tenderness of the heart and the refinement of the mind, Lamia identifies herself millimetrically with the whimsical femininity and the fierce obstinacy, with the passion for life and the nervous breakdowns of the famous protagonist, stirring admiration and compassion. This “magical” strategy is, certainly, the proof of an artistic maturity and versatility which reiterates the tremendous gift of the unrivalled Lamia Beligan”.

Edith Negulici, Radio Theatre Magazine - „My Life Has Been a Good Show!”  

"The monodrama requires special qualities from the actor, first and foremost a prodigal memory and a capacity to sustain an ample monologue, overwhelming and not boring for the spectators, personal charm, a pleasant voice, continuous movement, spectacular transformations in small time units, performing elegance and emotion during the climaxes, and humour, if the text contains it. Lady Lamia Beligan has proven last night that she possesses these virtues on an appropriate text, the adventurous life of a great actress at the beginning of the era of the spoken film, who – in that pioneering era of American cinema – was representing for the planet the sole means of visual communication with millions and millions of people.

Alongside Lamia, the entire production team of the show triumphs. And the Spirit of Radu Beligan!".  

Dinu Grigorescu - Radio Theatre Magazine  

"The conference is actually a pretext for recollection and reliving, before death, a fascinating destiny. And Lamia Beligan does precisely this, she accompanies her on the way back, illustrating her life, without pervading into the intimacy of her world more than the text allows her.

Obviously, it is about a precious project of an actress who, at this moment of her career, has desired the confrontation with the image and story of one of Hollywood’s legends. The entire show is conceived to exemplify in the first place the history of a short life, with its climaxes, transposed through the sensibility and personality of an actress from a different millennium".

Monica Andronescu, Yorick - Lamia Beligan Face to Face with Vivien Leigh 

"The show is, in fact, the encounter over centuries between Lamia Beligan and Vivien Leigh".

Eveline Păuna, Blog - "Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference"  

"I have discovered, alongside the life of Vivien Leigh, an exceptional actress, Lamia Beligan, who assumes the challenge of giving life to a complicated character, in a puzzle of experiences and emotions, of events which have constructed simultaneously a face, a life, a destiny, both famous and tragic. With Vivien Leigh, Lamia Beligan achieves a formidable composition role, building it painstakingly, carefully towards nuances.

The show of the „long-distance runner” would be an appropriate description for this role. Lamia Beligan really achieves a tour de force.

Lamia Beligan traverses with elegance and femininity the ages of Vivien Leigh, the different artistic periods, but also the ones from her personal life, with the ups and, especially, with the vertiginous downs.

...a troubling artistic confession, a profession of faith in a show of performative and directorial mastery, virtuosity and beauty which heals and purifies; a recital – jardin secret, which Lamia Beligan cultivates with talent and passion".

Andreea Nanu, Metropolis Journal - Vivien Leigh. Lamia Beligan’s Secret Garden  

"Do you know what Lamia Beligan has “taken on her shoulders”? What challenge it has been for her, what intensive work, what a waste of gesture and being, how much dedication, talent and energy she consumed? But she made it! At least this is what the encores and the storm of applause, which unleashed at the fall of the curtain have proven. Lamia has long thanked the audience and the audience applauded her for a long time. But not because the Oltenians are generous, but because the actress' performance has left a deep impression".

Dănuţ Deleanu, The Resistance Movement, the Ștefan Iordache Theatre Festival – What Paris Has Not Seen: Scarlet O' Hara Paying a Visit to Caracal 

"Lamia Beligan keeps the spectators breathless through the mastery of her acting performance. The pantomime moments reinforce the feelings of the character and the incursion into the inner labyrinth becomes so intense, that one feels and lives at utmost intensity everything happening on stage.

”Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference” is a show worthwhile seeing and re-seeing, both for the passion and sensibility of Lamia Beligan’s performance of this role, and for the story of the fabulous life of a major actress for the history of cinematography".

Simona Ioniţă, The Book Agency – The open door towards Being or about the last days from the life of an artist 

"A novel-like existence underlying nowadays a profound text at emotional level, a troubling confession, an audacious retrospective of the most emblematic moments from the career of one of the most colossal muses of the past century.

”Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference” is a successful artistic and monographic endeavour, a captivating, interesting, surprising tour de force, a felicitous dramatic portrait of one of the most mysterious, magnetic figures of world cinematography. A wholesome, but brave approach to the one who has been Juliet, but also Cleopatra or Lady Macbeth. An incursion into time, to the times of mad glory where one lived passionately and loved until the end.

A tender and discrete exercise of admiration worthwhile applauding".

Răzvana Niţă, Radio Theatre Magazine - Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference by Marcy Lafferty – NTB  


The spectators about the representation at the Romanian Embassy in France:
„Lamia Beligan conveys the entire tragic dimension of the fabulous and troubled life of the great British actress. Thank you for these pleasant moments!” Andrea Allebe
„I cannot but salute the performance of Lamia Beligan, who renders with emotion the milestones from the life of Vivien Leigh. Lamia vibrates in unison with Vivien and experiences a double catharsis, the one of an actress impersonating an actress.” Marius Cocs


The audience about the representation from the Romanian Cultural Institute of London:

“In my reading, more than evoking a diva of the screen and stage, the play Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference – is a true hymn dedicated to the acting profession, to the tremendous personal sacrifices this profession demands, when it is exercised with passion and grace.

Lamia Beligan is a wonderful actress, who does not hesitate to reach the riskiest self-oblivion (the actor’s „sacred madness”, as the Greeks used to say), who performs with a passion I have seen more and more rarely and which made me feel downright physically Vivien’s suffering.” Dorian Branea, Director, Minister Counsellor

"Exceptional evening at Palais de Behague – the Romanian Embassy in Paris, last evening. Vivien Leigh came back among us thanks to Lamia Beligan, "imperial" in this role.

One hour and a half of acting marathon, shared breathlessly by a full house, summarizing the life of the one who impersonated the mythical character Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind.

The sensitivity and subtlety of Lamia Beligan’s performance have transported the audience on a fascinating journey, which was rewarded with seven encores and standing ovation!!!!

Hats off to the artist!!!! Bravo Lamia!” Miruna Ionescu Goga

„Lamia Beligan fabulously impersonates Vivien Leigh. A rare compositional role, perfectly performed. Congratulations, dear Lamia!” Ildiko Spelt –Brănescu
„An amazing performance by Lamia Beligan.” Josie Jenkins
„A very inspired enactment and a ravishing Vivien! Congratulations!” Cecilia Stroe

 

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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