It’s 1981. The year of that Royal Wedding. When Barbara Cartland’s beloved pet Pekinses vanishes, Ruth, a hard-bitten journalist from the Sunday Intruder, suspects foul play. Was it the drunken maid, the frustrated chef or the spinster secretary? Will High Tea and Crinoline Lady Cake ever be the same again?
Barbara Cartland – In the Pink is a sparkling new comedy inspired by autobiographical material by the ‘Queen of Romance’ herself. The play will have its World Premiere at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre from 18-20 June 2015. Set in Barbara Cartland’s mansion – Camfield Place – the farcical escapades of her eccentric household ensure plenty of laughter and fun thoughout.
Flashbacks show a young Barbara in her heyday as the glamorous ‘It Girl’ of the 1920s and we learn of her pioneering campaign work, which often went unnoticed. There are also glimpses of the many tragedies that befell Barbara Cartland throughout her life.
No play about an international romance writer would be complete without a love-struck hero and heroine. Manly Maximus Kirby and lovely Lavinia Davenport spring dramatically to life from the pages of Barbara’s latest manuscript.
Barbara Cartland was at her peak in the early 1980s. In her life she sold 750 million books worldwide and wrote a total of 728 books – roughly one a fortnight. She wrote her last book at the age of 97 a year before she died in May, 2000.
Shortly before Charles and Diana’s wedding, Barbara Cartland celebrated her 80th birthday and published her 300th book.
Barbara Cartland – In the Pink was written by Ann Feloy and Caroline Maxwell after a visit to Barbara’s mansion, Camfield Place, Hertfordshire, to meet one of her sons, Ian McCorquodale.
Ann said: “I was surprised that a play about Barbara Cartland had never been written before. Here was an iconic, international figure, whose life spanned the 20th century and who today is still a household name and her colourful personality and life seemed the perfect elements for a comedy. She was the step grand-mother to Princess Diana and had been the ‘It Girl’ of the 1920s. A great deal of the witticisms and ‘bon mots’ in the play were taken from Barbara Cartland’s autobiographical material. Learning and writing about her was fascinating and a joy. We hope she would be pleased with her portrayal in this play as we believe it reveals the real person behind the pink chiffon and false eyelashes.”
For Ian, a play delving into his mother’s life is an exciting prospect. Since her death, it has been his mission to publish the 160 unseen novels under the title ‘The Pink Collection’ and these are proving very popular now as ebooks to readers all over the world. More information can be found at www.barbaracartland.com
Ian said: “I am much looking forward to the World Premiere of Barbara Cartland – In the Pink. Ann Feloy and Caroline Maxwell have delightfully captured my mother’s strong personality together with her sense of humour and sense of fun in their play. She achieved so much in her long life. She was the most prolific author of the 20th century, selling over a billion books in her lifetime in 38 different languages. And now her wonderful romances, I am happy to say, are being introduced to new generations of readers all over the world through ebooks and digital publishing. Her books will always be treasured for their moral message, her pure and innocent heroines, her good-looking and dashing heroes and, above all, her belief that the power of love is more important than anything else in everyone’s life.”