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Black Chiffon - Park Theatre

Black Chiffon - Abigail Cruttenden. Photo by Mark Douet.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE critically-acclaimed revival of Lesley Storm’s Black Chiffon, which ran in the West End for over 400 performances in the 1940s, is transferring from Frinton Summer Theatre to Park Theatre (Park90), where it runs from September 18 to October 12, 2019.

Starring Abigail Cruttenden (Not Going Out), this incendiary psychological study sees a respected woman driven to the edge by the stress and strain of her position.

Mrs Alicia Christie maintains a beautiful home, with a clever husband and devoted children. This surely makes her an upstanding society woman… What would you do to protect your family? Would you lie? Would you forsake all your beliefs? Would you go to jail? One woman. One crime. One decision.

Lesley Storm’s Black Chiffon toured to Broadway after its successful West End run, where the role of Louis was played by Patricia Hicks – who is the grandmother of performer Jemima Watling, who plays the role in this production. Jemima’s theatrical family includes actor Giles Watling (now MP for Clacton) and film star Jack Watling, who also ran Frinton Summer Theatre, where this production debuted.

Abigail Cruttenden, whose credits include Chichester Festival Theatre, National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and many West End productions, alongside TV success in Lee Mack’s comedy sitcom Not Going Out, plays Mrs Alicia Christie.

She is joined by Ian Kelly (Mr Foote’s Other Leg, Theatre Royal Haymarket; The Pitmen Painters, National Theatre), Nicholas Murchie (Trial by Laughter, Watermill Theatre), Yvonne Newman (The Comedy of Errors, National Theatre), Jack Staddon (Harlots, ITV), Eva Feiler (Othello, RSC) and Jemima Watling.

Frinton Summer Theatre is the last remaining and longest surviving weekly repertory theatre in the UK.

Black Chiffon is directed by Clive Brill.

The production is suitable for ages 14+.

Image: Black Chiffon – Abigail Cruttenden. Photo by Mark Douet.

Tickets: Available online at

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3.15pm.

Dementia Friendly performance: Monday, October 7 at 3.15pm.

Running Time: 150 minutes (including interval).

Read more about Park90’s July to December 2019 Season.