Showing posts with label Laurence Olivier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laurence Olivier. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Larry and Viv

I have always been a big fan of Gone with the Wind and especially the leading lady, Vivien Leigh. Vivien was an amazing woman because she courageously battled a terrible disease, bi polar disorder, and yet she produced some of the most incredible acting performances ever seen. Of course when Vivien lived there was no drug treatment , so she had shock treatment. There are stories of how she would have shock treatment in the morning and then in the evening, covering the burns with makeup, she would go on stage and produce a perfect performance.

In 1948, Vivien and her more famous husband, Laurence Olivier toured Australia. Vivien was already showing signs of her disease and according to the authoritative book on the subject,( Darlings of the Gods by Garry O Connor), their marriage was floundering.

That didn't bother the audiences. Larry and Viv were treated like royalty, literally. They reviewed troops, they came to parliament and were adored by the Australian press and public.

Above is an autographed copy of one of their programmes. The tour was conducted in a most professional manner and the programmes were exquisite works of art as can be seen.

In Sydney, they performed at the Tivoli Theatre, which was located near Belmore Park at Central. This was the second Tivoli, the first was located at Castlereagh Street and was transformed into the Embassy Cinema before demolition.Some years ago when I was working at a shop in Sydney, a customer told me that he had met Larry and Vivien during their tour. They had stayed in the Mosman area and he was a child at the time. He said Vivien was wonderful, but Larry was awful, a horrible man.

That is the lasting impression of Vivien Leigh in Australia.