Stephen Sachs play, Bakersfield Mist, which is inspired by true events, asks vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic and marks the return to the London stage of multi award-winner Kathleen Turner for the first time she starred in the West End transfer of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kathleen plays Maude, a fifty-something unemployed bartender, has bought a painting for a few bucks from the thrift store. Despite almost trashing it, she now thinks it’s a Jackson Pollock worth millions. In fact she’s certain it is. But when world-class art expert, Lionel Percy (Ian McDiarmid), flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he really has no idea what he is about to discover.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Kathleen said: "She’s this blousy woman, a little rundown — the kind of cliche of an American woman you Brits just love! — but there’s more to her. It’s about the transformative power of art and class and truth."
Ian McDiarmid (Life of Galileo, Faith Healer) said: "I liked the idea and comic potential of two passionately opinionated cultural opposites engaged in a life-changing battle for the soul of a great painter."
Nica Burns (Producer and theatre owner who recently featured on Channel 4’s The Sound of Musicals) said “When we were lucky enough to hear Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid read the play for us, the chemistry between these two great stage actors was thrilling. It has been eight years since Kathleen stunned London audiences with her extraordinary award winning performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. This is a fantastic role for her return to the London stage.”
Bakersfield Mist is produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Sonia Friedman Productions, Darren Bagert/Martin Massman and Chris & Kelbe Bensinger