Frankly, my dears, it’s a classy comedy - watch out for Moonlight And Magnolias in Stevenage next week

Gone With The Wind

Gone With The Wind - Credit: Archant

Moonlight And Magnolias sounds like a steamy down south costume drama, but the play that’s being staged at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre next week doesn’t follow the lead of the title.

Rehearsals for Moonlight and Magnolias at the Gordon Craig Theatre

Rehearsals for Moonlight and Magnolias at the Gordon Craig Theatre - Credit: Archant

This crackling comedy is a must for movie buffs, though, as it picks apart the tortured process by which Hollywood hauled blockbuster novel Gone With The Wind on to the silver screen.

The play, written by Emmy Award-winning author Ron Hutchinson, was first produced little over a decade ago but has already become a firm favourite around the world.

The in-house Gordon Craig production, which opens next Wednesday evening and runs until Saturday, stars man of many talents Mark Little as legendary producer David O. Selznick, and the former Neighbours star and stand-up comic has plenty of meaty dialogue to play with this sparky period piece.

The story is set in 1939, five weeks into the production of the eagerly-anticipated film.

There’s a frenzy of expectation about the movie version of the book that everyone has read, but things aren’t going well, and a disaster could be on the cards.

In despair hotshot Selznick shuts down the production and calls in ace screenwriter Ben Hecht (William Meredith) and director Victor Fleming to mount a rescue operation, with help from his faithful assistant Miss Poppenguhl (Alexis Caley).

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There’s a problem, though – Hecht is one of the few people in the Western world who has managed to avoid Margaret Mitchell’s story and hasn’t got a clue about the sweeping Civil War scenario.

In the claustrophobic atmosphere of a Hollywood office, the atmosphere gets heated as they try and put things right. They’ve got five days to rewrite the film...

Prices for evening performances start at £16 and there are matinee shows next Thursday and Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm, costing £17.50.

Visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk or call 01438 363200 for full details.

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