“After sixty a woman is like Africa. Everyone knows where it is but nobody wants to go there”. Unless that woman happens to be Joan Collins. Hollywood starlet, television’s favourite villainess of the eighties, fashion icon and writer, Collins now adds consummate cabaret performer to her startling array of accomplishments. Hitting New York City with a dose of glamour, a pinch of wit and a wonderful assortment of uproarious one-liners, we are taken on a journey through the decades that is sincere, entertaining and effectively paced.
Arguably best known for her award-winning portrayal of bitch queen Alexis in Dynasty, Collins quickly establishes she has plenty up her shoulder padded sleeves to keep us on our toes. Originally hailed as “Britain’s best since Jean Simmons”, Collins reveals everything but her age, accompanied by a cleverly arranged selection of film clips to complement her anecdotes. Feinstein’s provides the perfect setting, serving as the 21st century version of Manhattan’s original supper clubs of the golden days, offering crystal chandeliers, decadent furnishings and a scrumptious exclusive menu.
The one-woman-show format can often become ever so slightly tedious or repetitive - however, Collins manages to keep us hooked throughout. Touching briefly on her private life including marriages and family history, the focus of this evening however, is placed on her career. Regaling her personal experiences relating to renowned industry figures such as Bette Davis, Paul Newman and Richard Burton, Collins has also sung with Bing Crosby, almost dated Sinatra and was once prescribed speed as a weight loss pill.
Falling gracefully into perfect splits at one point as she recounts her childhood, and a deserved standing ovation at the end of the night confirms that Britain’s best has come full circle.