|Two Plays |
by Garry O'Connor
As playwright Garry O’Connor points out, almost half a century after Olivier opened the new National Theatre at the Old Vic, there is one figure of twentieth-century film-and-theatre fame hardly ever spoken of, yet who, it might be claimed, deserves greater recognition and the ultimate Olivier accolade. The Madness of Vivien Leigh is based on books O’Connor has written about Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Ralph Richardson. Darlings of the Gods, a main source, was first published in 1984 by Hodder & Stoughton, and filmed as a three-part mini-series five years later, scripts written by Roger Simpson and Graham Farmer, a screen collaboration between Thames Television and ABC Australia. A further source is the adaptation he later made as a novel, his first to be published, which Coronet brought out in 1989. The Madness of Vivien Leigh is now paired with one other play by O’Connor, Debussy Was My Grandfather, and is published by CentreHouse Press collectively as Debussy Was My Grandfather / The Madness of Vivien Leigh.