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I Shall be Remembered

I Shall be Remembered

Elizabeth Woodman

4 September 2009

Cathryn Parker

The story of Madame de Pompadour. An enduring love story and political intrigue at the Court of Louis XV.

Part of Summer At Lewes Theatre


Synopsis

The story of Madame de Pompadour. This production received it UK premier in Eastbourne in March 2008 to critical acclaim and is recently returned from a successful Australian tour. The sumptuous setting and costumes are replicas of the 18th century originals.

An enduring love story and political intrigue at the Court of Louis XV.

Review

It was very exciting to hear that two of our long-standing members of Lewes Theatre Club, Cathryn and Geoffrey Parker were taking a play to Australia.

Cathryn first met the actress Elaine Montgomerie when she directed her as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in Eastbourne. Elaine had been inspired by the De la Tour painting of Madame de Pompadour and had asked a friend, the playwright Elizabeth Woodman to write a play about her and so it was that I Shall Be Remembered came about.

Cathryn, Geoff and Elaine took the play to Elaine’s native country and successfully presented it in Sydney in April 2009 with Elaine playing the one-woman monologue of Madame de Pompadour.

The play was then presented in Lewes Theatre Club’s SALT season in September and members were able to see this beautiful production.

On entering the theatre the audience was stunned by the superb set, enormous gilt framed paintings of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour and the Palace of Versailles dominated the scene with exquisite 18th Century furniture and properties. The jewel coloured silk costumes with subtle lighting effects gave the audience a visual feast.

Elaine Montgomerie’s first impact was her clarity of diction, so often missing today. Her period style and graceful movements brought the story vividly to life. As the play unfolded Elaine took us from a nine year old girl, who was told by a fortune teller that she would be the Maitresse du Roi, through her nail counting fierce determination to be so, her marriage to Charles, just a touch boring, the death of her child and the eventual chasing and falling in love with the King.

The later scenes, where she was losing her vitality and other women were becoming her rivals for the King’s affection were very effective, as she movingly aged before our eyes.

The audience realised that in one fascinating evening we had witnessed the lifespan of one of the most well known and intriguing women of her time; it was an event to remember.

Stella Stone