with McCaldin Arts | McNeff Vivienne
- Stephen McNeff: Vivienne
Following the highly successful premiere of Vivienne this summer (see here for feedback from the show and here for more on the project), the autumn sees further performances in the Bloomsbury Festival and the Linbury Studio.
This brand new show telling the story of TS Eliot's first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Vivienne's marriage was disastrous and behaviour increasingly erratic, and she was subsequently taken to an asylum. TS Eliot's own sister-in-law was able to admit that while Vivienne may have ruined her husband as a man, “she made him as a poet.” This is Vivienne’s life told in a series of short scenes each containing a song. There are hints of cabaret or music hall (a favorite of both Eliots), perhaps something seedier or grander, full of Vivienne’s wit and intelligence as she finally takes charge of her own story. She wasn’t mad – though she was ill – but became increasingly desperate when rejected by Tom and his Bloomsbury friends. She, too, was a talented writer. Did she deny her own gifts and potential to support a man whose work she believed so completely?