‘Sit in the back of the car and wait for a man to come.’ This was always the survival strategy of Pamela Churchill Harriman, the English socialite whose marriages to powerful men saw her described as ‘the greatest courtesan of the century’. In Charles Leipart’s comic play – part of a season of new writing at the Pavilion – she’s washed up at the Ritz, out of both money and magnates. The only person around to hear her life story is an uppity Italian valet (played here with smouldering boredom by Jos Vantyler). Felicity Dean’s performance was spot on from the strained bouffant bob to the subtley sliding accent, and come the end we’d fallen for this woman, who set out to serve up ‘little melon balls of Pamela’ but couldn’t help revealing the frantically paddling legs upholding the aging society swan.
Pavilion Theatre, Brighton Dome