International star of stage and screen Kathleen Turner returns to the West End in Bakersfield Mist, a new comedy by Stephen Sachs. The show, which is inspired by true events follows Maude, a fifty-something unemployed bartender, who has bought a painting for a few bucks from the thrift store. Despite almost trashing it, she thinks it's a Jackson Pollock worth millions.
In fact she's certain it is. But when world-class art expert, Lionel Percy, 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.
The last time multi-award winner Turner was on the West End Stage was for her Tony nominated performance in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She is excited to be back in the capital, no stranger to the theatre having started her career on Broadway.
She describes her character in Bakersfield Mist as "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."
Famed for her roles in Hollywood classics including Body Heat and Romancing The Stone she will play opposite veteran actor Ian McDiarmid who has won both Olivier and Tony award's for Life of Galileo and Faith Healer. No stranger to the silver screen himself, McDiarmid appeared in 47 films since 1976, but perhaps best known for his role in the Star Wars film series as Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine.
In a press statement, Turner commented, "The shock and humour of diametrically opposed cultures with the transformative power of art – pure joy." McDiarmid added, "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."
Having made the transatlantic journey from the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles where it was created and produced, Bakersfield Mist will no doubt be a sure-fire hit. The show is being directed by Evening Standard award-winner, Polly Teale, joint artistic director of Shared Experience, for whom she has directed Jane Eyre, Brontë, After Mrs. Rochester, Bracken Moor, Mary Shelley and Speechless, amongst others.
Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess theatre is booking for a strictly limited season only until the 30th August 2014, so book your Bakersfield Mist tickets early to avoid disappointment!