Mad as Hell by Cassie McFarlane and Adrian Hope
"Who am I? A seller of dreams, of fantasies, a fairground freak. A film star!”
A bar in Jamaica. The early 1960s. When womanizing, hell-raising film star Peter Finch meets Eletha Barrett, a charismatic island girl, they both get more than they bargained for. The relationship between Peter and Eletha scandalises Hollywood, and culminates in Finch’s Oscar-winning performance in Network.
A battle between the ‘isms and schisms’ of race and prejudice and the courage of love, Mad As Hell reveals for the first time how the backdrop to Finch’s iconic performance was as fiery as the role he played.
Cassie McFarlane first heard the story of Finch and Barrett from her mother and aunt who, like most Jamaicans of their time, were scandalised by Finch’s relationship with a ‘local gal’. Cassie won the Evening Standard Most Promising New Actress award for her starring role in Burning an Illusion, a pioneering film of black British cinema.
This explosive play will star Stephen Hogan (Redwater, BBC; Transformers, The Last Knight, Paramount; Peer Gynt, National Theatre), Vanessa Donovan (forthcoming films include I Love London and The Marker) and Alexandra Mardell (Mine, The Courtyard theatre; Vera, ITV).
A World Premiere
Directed by Cassie McFarlane
l-r Vanessa Donovan, Stephen Hogan and Alexandra Mardell in Mad as Hell, Jermyn Theatre by Cassie McFarlane and Adrian Hope