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Mrs Roosevelt Flies to LondonHINT OF LIME PRODUCTIONS in association with The King’s Head Theatre presents MRS ROOSEVELT FLIES TO LONDON, written and performed by ALISON SKILBECK and directed by LUCY SKILBECK.

In October 1942, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the President, takes a dangerous trip to war-time London, to visit US troops, and see how the British, most importantly the women, are coping. In her last days, as the Cuban Missile Crisis pushes the world to the brink of final catastrophe, Eleanor relives her journey, from bomb-damaged Buckingham Palace to midnight factories. She also recalls her life, from unhappy child, to unconventional wife, to becoming, in President Truman’s words ‘First Lady of the World’.

Coinciding with both the seventieth anniversary of the death of Franklin D Roosevelt on April 12 and the seventieth anniversary of VE Day on May 8, Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London explores the public, and hidden life of one of the most extraordinary women of the 20th century, a woman beset by deep personal insecurities and tragedy, but one who never lost her passionate belief in the strength of the human spirit. Granted special permission to use Eleanor’s writings, Alison Skilbeck’s new one-woman show is a revelatory portrait of the woman who fought tirelessly for the rights of the underprivileged and did so much to shape the role of the First Lady in the post war era and beyond.

Alison Skilbeck’s long and busy career includes London’s West End and Fringe, theatre all over the UK, and many tours of Europe, the US and beyond. She began acting at Oxford University, where she read Modern Languages. Career highlights include: spending five years with Alan Ayckbourn in Scarborough, where she created roles in many of his plays; touring Shakespeare all over the USA with Actors From The London Stage as one of five actors playing all the roles, in As You Like It and A Winter’s Tale; playing Harold Pinter in Morocco, John Dryden in Spain, and Vaclav Havel in Hong Kong. For Greenwich Theatre, she was in the British premieres of The Dining Room, and The Perfect Party, by A .R .Gurney Jr. For the Godot Company, she performed in Samuel Beckett’s Play, and the solo monologue Enough. She played Enid Blyton in Michael Frayn’s Balmoral for the Peter Hall Company. Alison has also appeared in numerous television dramas as well as taking on Polly Perks in Radio 4’s The Archers. Her critically acclaimed solo show Are There More of You? received 4 and 5 star reviews and toured throughout the UK and Ireland.

Lucy Skilbeck (no relation to Alison) has worked in the West End, on Broadway, the National Theatre, off-West End, London’s Fringe and many drama schools as well as directing in the USA and Australia. She is now Director of Actor Training at RADA.

A series of after-show discussions hosted by Jonathan Steele (The Guardian’s former Chief Foreign Correspondent) will be staged at The King’s Head Theatre throughout the run. These will comprise:-

Monday 20 April – Safeguarding human and civil rights in a modern society.
Guest speakers: Human Rights Lawyer Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws and Margo Picken, Visiting Fellow at Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE.

Monday 27 April – The Development of the United Nations – Is it fulfilling its role as Eleanor Roosevelt envisaged?
Guest speakers: Edward Mortimer CMG, former Director of Communications in the Executive Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations

Monday 4 May – The Anglo/US Special Relationship.
Guest speakers: Professor Christopher Coker, Head of the Dept of International Relations, LSE, and Steven Erlanger, London Bureau Chief for the New York Times

Written and performed by ALISON SKILBECK
April 14th to May 9th 2015
The King’s Head Theatre

PRESS NIGHT: Wednesday April 15 at 7.00pm

115 Upper Street
London N1 1QN

Mon – Sat 7:00pm
Matinee Saturday May 9 3.00pm
Tickets £15.00 to £25.00
Preview April 14 £10
Box office 0207 478 0160

Tuesday 10th February 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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