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Sandra Dickinson is back as Lucille Ball in I LOVED LUCY

I Loved LucySandra Dickinson is back as Lucille Ball in I LOVED LUCY for a further 3-week London season due to exceptional public demand – and she has a new American co-star!

Sandra Dickinson will reprise her acclaimed starring performance for the run which is from Wednesday 6th to Saturday 23rd April at Jermyn Street Theatre, with press night on Friday 8th April at 7.30pm.

After a phenomenally successful London premiere last month, Lee Tannen’s incredibly personal play, I Loved Lucy, a bitter-sweet memoir that reveals the real life Lucille Ball and what it was like being her friend to the end, is to return to Jermyn Street Theatre for a further 3-week season.

Sandra Dickinson has a new co-star, Los Angeles-born Stefan Menaul, as Lee. He graduated from Guildhall School of Music & Drama and was in the West End cast of Dirty Dancing. His other credits include Ice Cream and The Ritual of Thwarted Desire at Southwark Playhouse and Off the Cliff at Theatre503. Stefan has just finished filming the US TV series Berlin Station with Richard Armitage and Rhys Ifans.

The production is directed by Jermyn Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Anthony Biggs.

I Loved Lucy Sandra Dickinson and Stefan Menaul
I Loved Lucy Sandra Dickinson and Stefan Menaul

Funny and engaging, Sandra Dickinson gives a sublime tour-de-force performance” – Stage Review
Sandra Dickinson gives a masterclass every acting student should see up close and be inspired” – BroadwayWorld
A miracle to watch, Sandra Dickinson gives a blazing performance” – The Stage
Fantastically funny and incredibly touching” UK Theatre Network
Sandra Dickinson is incredible” Gay Times
A fantastic night’s entertainment” London Theatre 1
Extraordinarily funny… a joy to watch” British Theatre Guide

I Loved Lucy is a personal portrait of an iconic comedic entertainer whose public face is all too well known. But what was Lucille Ball really like and how did she choose to live her life…at the end of her life? Out of the spotlight.

Based on his best selling memoir, Lee Tannen’s funny, bitter-sweet play reveals the real-life Lucy and what is was like being her friend to the end. Most people who wrote about Lucy never even met her. They relied on others to fill in the blanks. Lee relied solely on Lucy. And he paints a rich personal portrait that can only add to our love of a legend.

I Loved Lucy stars Sandra Dickinson (A Streetcar Named Desire, Not about Nightingales, Orpheus Descending) as Lucy and Stefan Menaul as Lee. It is directed by Jermyn Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Anthony Biggs (The River Line, On Approval, The First Man).

Awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lucille Ball remains one of Hollywood’s best loved stars. With her trademark red hair and goofy persona, she will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo on her groundbreaking 1950s TV sitcom, I Love Lucy, which co-starred her real-life husband Desi Arnaz and was produced by their own TV company, Desilu Productions. Shown around the world and topping the ratings every year in the US, it is still regarded today as one of the greatest and most influential sitcoms in TV history. When the show ended, Lucy took sole control of Desilu Productions, making her the first woman to run a major TV production studio. She won four Emmys and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in recognition for her life’s work. On August 6, 2011, which would have been her 100th birthday, Google honored her with an interactive doodle on their homepage featuring classic moments from I Love Lucy.

Born in Washington DC, Sandra Dickinson first found fame in the UK as the star of Birds Eye beefburger ads in the early 1970s. They established her in a succession of American ‘dumb blonde’ roles, and it was many years before she was able to shake that image. She’s had a prolific career on stage and screen, notably as Trillian in the cult sci-fi TV series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. She is currently the voice of Grandma Tracy in CITV’s Thunderbirds Are Go.

Lee Tannen first met Lucille Ball as a child but cemented their close and enduring friendship as an adult. During the last 10 years of Lucy’s life – years mostly spent out of the spotlight and much of it around a backgammon table, where Lee became Lucy’s confidant spending time in her Beverly Hills and Palm Springs homes, traveling with her and entertaining her on his turf in New York City. His memoir became an instant best seller. In 2010, he adapted it for the stage where it premiered at The Laguna Playhouse. Lee’s other work includes a new libretto in 2007 for the stage adaptation of the classic children’s story Dr. Dolittle, starring and directed by nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune. A year earlier, Lee was a contributing writer for the Drama-Desk-nominated musical The Audience. In 2003, Lee was writer and Associate Director for Paparazzi, an original musical for Holland America Line directed by Tommy Tune. In 2001, Lee wrote and directed All The World’s a Stage, a star-studded benefit for Variety Club at Carnegie Hall starring, among others, Barbara Cook, Nathan Lane and Tommy Tune and hosted by Jane Powell. Lee has also written special material for Joan Rivers, Elizabeth Taylor and Shirley MacLaine.

Gary DiMauro, Therese Steiner and Showstoppers NY in association with Jermyn Street Theatre present:
Sandra Dickinson in the return of I Loved Lucy by Lee Tannen with Stefan Menaul as Lee

Directed by Anthony Biggs
Designed by Gregor Donnelly
Lighting Design by Charlie Lucas
Wednesday 6 – Saturday 23 April
Press night: Friday 8 April at 7.30pm

Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn Street
LONDON SW1Y 6ST
Box office: 0207 287 2875
www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk

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  • 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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