Global superstar Dame Joan Collins is bringing her brand new one-woman theatre show Joan Collins Unscripted to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate next month.
This all-new show for 2016 provides fans with a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend an intimate, entertaining and unforgettable evening in the company of a true Hollywood legend.
During her all-new show, Dame Joan will share stories and secrets from her celebrated life and career as one of the world’s most glamorous and intriguing actresses.
We chatted to her ahead of her show.
Q) Dame Joan, you are about to head out on your all-new UK Tour, what can we expect?
JC: Well the show is called Joan Collins Unscripted and that is exactly what it will be. We go on stage each night with a blank sheet and that will lead to a different show each night.
It’s going to be an intimate, hilarious and wonderfully stylish night with me, Percy and a few hundred dear friends reliving some great stories, great times and some of the fascinating people I’ve met along the way. In my shows I like to joke about everything – my men, my marriages, my life. Nothing is off limits… within reason!
I so enjoyed my 10 years performing One Night with Joan all over the world that I am delighted to be doing an entirely new show.
Each performance will be different so if you like me in Salford come see me in London…and if you don’t then stay at home and watch Corrie!
Q) Your husband Percy, who you’ve described as ‘the greatest love of your life’, is appearing on stagewith you on this tour. How important is Percy’s support on stage?
JC: We simply love being with each other. Myself and Percy are soulmates – we like the same things, we laugh at the same things and that is so important.
You could say I kissed a lot of frogs along the way, but I finally found the prince!
It is totally a love match, but also a friends match so having him alongside me each night as we tour the country, playing to such wonderful audiences, will be a special moment for use both. We cannot wait.
Q) Given your amazing career you must have plenty of hilarious anecdotes left in reserve. Do any of your former co-stars need to be worried?
JC: Well it depends if they’ve got a sense of humour or not... and of course some of them are dead!
Q) The tour takes you from Brighton to Edinburgh and 10 other towns and cities in between. What is so special about Britain, what do you love most about coming home and what do you miss most when you’re away?
JC: I’m English born and bred and that is in my DNA. I love the London parks, the greenery of the countryside, the London taxis, the morning papers delivered to your door and the cultural and social buzz of the city.
Q) Does the theatre hold many special memories for you?
JC: It certainly does. As a kid I used to go to the London Palladium often with my father and see variety shows. I remember seeing Johnny Ray there, Arthur Askey, Tommy Cooper – all those people that I love. I love variety.
The British theatre is steeped in history, tradition and fun. There are so many venues I have loved performing at down the years and this tour is going to be very special.
Q) This tour shows you are still prepared to put in the hard work. Do you feel this work ethic is missing from the entertainment industry today?
JC: I have never shirked putting the hours in. When I started out that’s how you got on in this business.
There are many young people who want to be ‘celebrities’ but not put the effort or hours in. They don’t want to do the training, go to drama school and study technique. They just want to be famous.
It breaks my heart that people want it on a plate when to be really good and work with the best takes talent and a hell of a lot of hard work.
Q) So you show no signs of taking your foot off the gas?
JC: My mantra is ‘Don’t waste time’. Life is ever so sweet but it sure is short. You have to enjoy life, and I live totally in the present.
I don’t feel any different from when I was 40. You’ve got to keep working and I love my work.
I have a lifestyle I figure I’ve earned, I have three children and three grandchildren to support after all!
But above all the reason why I am so active and so loving new projects is I love the work, the acting, the writing and, of course, my one-woman show.
Q) Where does the energy come from?
JC: I’ve always been restless, from when I was a young child. I have to move around and keep busy. My mother used to call me ‘Miss Perpetual Motion’ because I never kept still for a second. My restlessness became ingrained in me from such a young age. I guess that is why I have always loved to keep on the move, to travel and most importantly work.
One thing in life, I never want to be a crashing bore. I want to be amusing, entertaining and keep busy. I think I do OK on that front!
Q) How do you balance life with work?
JC: I try to spend time with my children and grandchildren as often as possible, in St Tropez especially. And I catch up with friends whenever I’m in town – be that London, New York or LA.
Both myself and Percy like to travel. I’ve always considered myself a wanderer, a gypsy and that will never change. Next year we are really looking forward to seeing some places we’ve never been to before.
Q) Dame Joan, you’ve had an incredibly busy 2016 with a book launch, new cosmetic range, not to mention the Ab Fab movie, shooting a new feature film in France, world travel. What have been your highlights?
JC: The absolute highlight so far has been shooting the movie The Time of Their Lives with Pauline Collins. It has been a fabulous experience to perform in. It just has great script with such a great actress.
On the personal front my daughter Tara is getting married this year and I’m sure this will be a major highlight; I’m very much looking forward to it.
Q) You’ve spent the summer shooting The Time of Their Lives in France. What can you tell us about the project and what is it like working with your good friend Pauline?
JC: I was very excited by the script. There are very few roles today for women aged over 45, let alone over 65. The fact that it’s a buddy movie along the lines of Thelma and Louise, with a hint of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, really interested me.
People are sick to death of watching shoot’em ups, blood and gore and explosions - those films for the 12 to 30-year- old market. It’s time producers realised that people also want to see stories about mature adults, not only teenagers.
Q) Your cosmetics range Joan Collins Timeless Beauty was launched into M&S this year. You look stunning. What is your top tip for looking good in 2016?
JC: Keep healthy, look after yourself and wear what brings out your best features. Beauty is not just for the young. I believe with a little care and attention any woman can look good through her 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.
I believe that looking good and feeling great is the right of every woman, and, with the right products and some clever techniques, any woman can look, and feel, fabulous.
Looking good and feeling great is the right of every woman no matter how old she is. Beauty is timeless.
Q) So, once your tour is over what is next for you?
JC: A good long rest!
Joan Collins Unscripted can be seen on Friday September 9 starting at 7.30pm. Tickets for the show are available from £30.50 and can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.