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King's Head Theatre - Londres - Angleterre


The format is simple: we watch Merman in 1961 rehearsing a Las Vegas cabaret show that anthologises her past. We not only get to hear standards by Gershwin, Porter and Berlin, we are also constantly reminded of Merman's consummate professionalism. When the director pleads that the audience wants to see Ethel Merman the woman, she crysply replies: "Send them to my gynaecologist." But we also learn that the downside of her implacable self-belief was a certain unapproachability. "Ethel," remarks a fellow artist, "has a great relationship to the audience. You just feel she’s never been introduced to the cast."


Première Preview: mardi 30 décembre 2003
Première: mardi 30 décembre 2003
Dernière: dimanche 01 février 2004



Mise en scène:
David Kernan
Lindsay Dolan
Angela Richards {Ethel Merman), Susannah Fellowes (Kitty), Mark White (Arty), Michael Roberts, Fiz Shapur



The life-story of Ethel Merman, devised around a fictitious TV biography being made in Las Vegas. The rehearsal process allows characters to say things like “Shall we include the bit about. . .?” and then decide against it. In this way it enables the show to refer briefly to Merman’s disastrous series of ex-husbands and to skim through an incredible career, ranging from early vaudeville to the great days of Broadway musicals. In real life it seems Merman could be an A-List bitch and some of this creeps through the story, though much is sanitised. With Kitty playing the young Merman, Arty playing a fellow hoofer, and with some 33 of the songs forever associated with the incredible Merman, everything really hung on the central performance of Angela Richards, and, for most of the critics, she came through with shining colours.

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