Missing Pieces Theatre Company
Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich
Errol Flynn was an Australian-born American actor who achieved worldwide fame during the Golden Age of Hollywood and was known for his romantic hero roles. He also had a reputation for his womanising, his hedonistic lifestyle which included drinking, smoking and narcotics abuse.
Karen Lynne’s brilliant, funny, moving and deep play explores the difficult, charming, elusive and flawed actor. Kind permission from one of his daughters, Rory, was given for Karen to write the play. It is a fictional play where we deep dive into the pressure cooker scenario of a complex man.
We find Errol Flynn on his schooner moored off the coast of Jamaica with his biographer, his mother whom he dislikes and his latest girlfriend who is loving and young. The play is set when Errol Flynn is fifty, the age he died, and as it’s based mainly around writing the biography, it is very reflective of his life. All four of them are on the boat and the biographer gets to observe Errol up close and personal and their relationships with each other. The biographer asks a lot of questions to get to the truth of his life and Errol, depending on his mood and state of mind, either answers them honestly or responds with a question which means we get to know the biographer more.
The relationships are either up or down, depending on Errol’s state of mind which is very sporadic, depending on what he’s drinking, how much sleep he’s had or whether he’s self-medicating. It’s volatile to say the least, we get to understand the strained relationship he has with his mother, the interesting relationship with the girlfriend, who is probably just the latest woman in his life, and the developing relationship Errol has with the biographer which certainly improves after their fight.
The play never lets up and is full of drama. Errol Flynn loves life and wants to experience everything to the point where one minute they are drinking, then next they are sword-fighting, or he’s either playing mind games or pushing the biographer overboard with a smile.
This play has adult language, themes, and scenarios. The show is fast paced, funny, tragic and dramatic and the four actors are very talented. Gary Turner, who has been in Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Soldier Soldier, The Bill and other shows was completely engaging and held the audience. It’s an interesting play, seeing the complex mind of another person and their relationships helps you appreciate any simplicity you have in your own life!
- Gary Turner – Errol Flynn
- The Writer – Luke Rose
- Mother – Erin Geraghty
- Girlfriend – Sophie Scannell