Gloria Grahame in Lancaster

One of the strongest memories from my Sixth Form school years was seeing Hollywood star Gloria Grahame playing Martha in Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ at the Duke’s Playhouse in Lancaster. She was amazingly fiery and feisty. It was incredible to see this Oscar winning actress giving her all in English provinicial rep. She died shortly after; collapsing during her Lancaster run and then being cared for in Liverpool.

This is the story told so movingly in the new film ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’ with Jamie Bell and Annette Bening giving wonderfully nuanced performances. They’ve changed the name of the Lancaster play, for some reason, but the screenplay and production are excellent.

Lhude sing

“Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, tis why I am,
So ‘gainst the winter’s balm
Sing Goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm
Sing Goddamm, sing Goddamm,

– Ezra Pound