Gracie Fields: The Stage Play

One of the world's highest-paid entertainers, Gracie Fields cut hundreds of recordings, starred in a series of optimistically-titled films whose scenarios reflected the spirit of the Depression, and never lost her popularity. Her personal and professional life was plagued by controversy, media prejudice and tragedy. She married three times. Then there were the lovers, a mixture of painters, actors and soldiers. The action of this play takes place in London during the 1960s, when Gracie is preparing for another appearance on the Royal Performance and suffering professional and personal crises. The arrival of pop has part convinced her that her kind of music has gone out of fashion. Then come two blasts from the past: Irene, the stepdaughter who accompanied her around the world when she was the biggest draw in Britain-and Ted, her fighter pilot lover who swept her off her feet during the war. The play ends with Gracie regaining her confidence and entertaining a new audience with the songs which made her famous.