PICTURE PERFECT

Twenty years after Margaret Chute was first seduced by Hollywood in 1926, her conscience has stopped her sleeping. Another cocktail might help. But can she muster the courage to finally expose the truth and admit her guilt – whatever the price?

PICTURE PERFECT - David Charles Manners

BallyBest Productions in association with Beckman Unicorn present the remarkable true story of Margaret Chute, a struggling actor on the London stage, who reinvented herself in the 1920s to become Hollywood's first freelance film journalist.

An intimate friend of Joan Crawford, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davies, Mae West, Lilian Gish and Gary Cooper – whom she met when they both witnessed a murder – Margaret soon gained an international reputation for both her trailblazing writing and stunning photographs of the stars - only to be destroyed by the very industry to which she dedicated over 20 years of her short life.

Margaret's story - her courage as an independent woman, who defied social norms, exposed the tragic cost of the pursuit of fame, and the price she herself ultimately chose to pay - has been hidden in the family archive for years, and is now being told for the first time.

I hope Margaret is given her rightful place in the History of Hollywood.’ MARIA COOPER JANIS, daughter of Gary Cooper

Liza Sadovy - Picture Perfect - David Charles Manners - Beckman Unicorn

Liza Sadovy (Stables Theatre) Photo: Peter Mould

PUBLIC REVIEWS

'Absolutely loved this performance' Sally-Ann S
'Hurrah: standing ovation!!!' Tina C
'Brilliant show… I highly recommend it' Diana G
'Fabulous performance… really enjoyed it' Caroline S
'Absolutely stunning!' Emma D
'A very enjoyable evening' Collyn F
'A great story! Catch it!' Adrian S
'David’s written a wondrous play' Ben W
'Truly fantastic… a wonderful evening' Ginette N
'Fabulous!' SnappyBiscuit
'Witty, camp and poignant' Paul J
'Beautiful… wonderfully evocative in writing and performance… a mesmerising watch' Michael P
'Compelling, touching and funny' Jason M 'Amazing' Julie K

The Creative Team

Tony Graham Director
Tony Graham
Director

Artistic Director for TAG Theatre, Glasgow 1992 -1997 and then Unicorn Theatre, London 1997-2011. He oversaw and launched the Unicorn’s new unique award winning theatre for young audiences in 2005.

He has directed over 90 professional productions in the UK and abroad including Sunset Song for the Edinburgh International Festival, Tom’s Midnight Garden (TMA Award) and Michael Morpurgo’s Billy The Kid with Dudley Sutton (available on digitaltheatre.com), which he also adapted. He directed the acclaimed dance-drama Red Red Shoes, a Unicorn/The Place co-production.

After going freelance in 2012, Tony became a Creative Associate at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and a Visiting Professor and Honorary Fellow at Rose Bruford Drama School, London.

He has toured shows internationally, directed in New York and for the National Theatre Company Korea. Phil Porter’s The Empress and the Nightingale was premiered in Seoul and Gwangju 2018.

He is currently directing Nick Payne’s Incognito for E15 and an outdoor version of The Odyssey for Rose Bruford. He’s delighted to be introducing Picture Perfect
to audiences at The Stables.

Liza Sudovy
Liza Sadovy 
Margaret Chute

Her theatre work includes Living Newspapers and A Separate Reality (Royal Court), Present Laughter (Old Vic); at the National Theatre I’m Not Running, Absolute Hell, The Heiress and Tales from the Vienna Woods; Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester), Pygmalion (Headlong), Wicked (Victoria Apollo, London), Oliver! (Sheffield Crucible), La Bete (West End & Broadway); at the Young Vic Annie Get Your GunSix Characters Looking for an Author, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory, Wyndhams, West End); Richard II (Steven Berkoff’s East Productions), The Dresser (Bath, tour and West End), Alice in Wonderland (RSC), Romeo and Juliet and Oh What a Lovely War (Regents Park), TheSlow Drag (Whitehall, West End), Company (Donmar, West End), British Premiere of Into the Woods. (The Phoenix, West End); Blood, Sweat and Tears (John Godber’s Hull Truck); two seasons with Alan Ayckbourn in Scarborough.

Liza was the winner of TMA Award for her roles as Katherine Glass in The Secret Rapture (Bristol Old Vic) and Paula Heimann in Mrs Klein (Northampton Theatre Royal).

Her television work includes Outlander (Netflix/Starz), Ridley Road (BBC), Vera (ITV), Babylon (BBC), The Honourable Woman (BBC), Eastenders (BBC), The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC), Emma (BBC), Doctors BBC), Extras (BBC), Midsomer Murders (ITV), Casualty (BBC), The Bill (Thames Television), Prime Suspect III (Granada Television), Castles (BBC Television) and Company (BBC2, Screenplay).

Liza’s film work includes Disobedience, The Knot, Sweeney Todd, Topsy Turvey, Billy the Kid and TheBGreen Baize Vampire.

Her radio work includes over 200 plays and readings for BBC Radio.

Liza has also worked with Music Theatre London in The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus and La Traviata.

David Charles Manners Writer
David Charles Manners
Author, Designer

David's writing has been published in English, French, Lithuanian and Turkish. His books In the Shadow of Crows and Limitless Sky received international acclaim.

He is co-founder of Sarva, a charity that works in India with communities ostracised by the stigma of leprosy. He is also a representative of Diversity Role Models, a charity that challenges homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

David ran his own puppet theatre company before training on stage at the Old Rep’ Theatre School, Birmingham, and The English Theatre, Frankfurt. The final composition of his music degree was a commissioned string quartet for Matthew Bourne’s Deadly Serious.

As a set and costume designer, David created five productions for Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures, and the first Italian translation of Bernstein’s Candide for Graham Vick at Batignano.

David worked for 14 years as massage therapist and yoga teacher at Glyndebourne, English National Opera and the Jerwood Young Artists’ Programme.

He has spent much of his adult life between the Sussex Downs and the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, in both of which his mother’s relations still live.

Picture Perfect is the inaugural work for his company BallyBest Productions.

davidcharlesmanners.com

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