Review of 'Joan Collins: Unscripted'

I can't say I am a huge fan of Joan Collins but I certainly am aware of her and find her interesting. When the opportunity came up to see her at the Palladium I could not pass it up. Our seats were half way up the top (second) balcony, the “Grand Circle” but visibility was great throughout. The simple stage was set up with garishly decorated furnishings of two chairs on a carpet with side tables and a tea table. Behind this was a large video display that showed private videos from Collins' life which were charming in their intimacy.

The evening consisted of Joan Collins accompanied by her husband who fielded questions from the audience with two people taking microphones around the ground floor and, in the second half, the first balcony for questions. The answers to many of the questions were accompanied by video/pictures on the big screen with an assistant off-stage queuing up the images as required. Some questions also came in electronically but for the most part they were from the audience – All very polite and interesting often including a “I have been a fan of yours for all of my life” statement. At the start of the show a quick joke-y aside was made by her husband about things that were off-topic (briefly flashing up on the screen) but she did touch briefly on some of them when mentioned such as Trump and Brexit. She was very clear she never participated in the “Casting Couch” method of furthering her career despite it coming up several times over the years, preferring instead to progress on her own terms, which received a round of applause from the audience.

For the most part she talked about her memories having worked with some of the greats of Hollywood including Bob Hope (wonderful) and Bing Crosby (horrible breath) who she worked on in “The Road to Hong Kong” (1962). She mentioned having met many presidents (Clinton being a “real gentleman”) but regretting not meeting John F. Kennedy. Her anecdotes about names familiar to many were insightful and interesting throughout. Conversation did of course include her most famous role as Alexis Carrington in Dynasty which they poked fun of (showing several times a video montage of her in a cat fight – though she clarified that her stunt double was involved most of the time in those scenes). Later in the show she touched on her current work on “American Horror Story” which she enjoys very much.

An interesting and much more enjoyable evening than I had originally thought. She is a strong willed and amazingly talented actress (she insists on being an “actress” not an “actor”, after all, she says, she is is a woman). I came away from the show knowing so much more about her and admiring her much more as well.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2019-02-17

London Palladium

Location: London (England)

Address: Argyll Street, London England, W1F 7TF

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 412 4655


The grand old daddy of London theatres, the Palladium has a long and illustrious history of Vaudeville, pantomime, the Royal Variety Performance show (held yearly as a “command performance” for the royal family), “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” live television show as well as big modern musicals including the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Access to the theatre is simple as it is immediately adjacent to Oxford Circus and on a quiet side street that is (normally) vehicle free. The interior of the theatre is magnificent in a classical way having been recently restored.