Glorious hilarity

Diana McLean as Florence Foster Jenkins in 'Glorious!' Picture: FOTOGRAPHIK

By Wendy Williamson

A great night’s entertainment is guaranteed for theatregoers at the Arts Centre Warburton this Saturday 19 August.
On stage will be ‘Glorious!’ the hilarious smash hit by Peter Quilter, telling the story of New York socialite and wannabe opera star Florence Foster Jenkins, a tone deaf soprano with a heart of gold.
You may have seen the movie, ‘Florence Foster Jenkins,’ which starred Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. It was inspired by the play, nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award – Best New Comedy when it was first staged in 2005.
“A lunatically funny play that will keep you very happy … a glittering comedy with a heart,” wrote the ‘Sunday Times’ critic.
A new stage production of ‘Glorious!’ is now touring regional eastern Australia, and Yarra Valley theatregoers are fortunate to be on the route.
The first night audience at Shepparton last week loved the play and laughed and laughed, according to Diana McLean, who stars as Florence in the new production. TV audiences will be familiar with McLean’s work on ‘The Young Doctors,’ ’Number 96’ and ‘All Saints’ and she toured from her Sydney base with ‘4000 Miles.’
McLean was captivated by Florence as soon as she saw the script, she told ‘The Mail.’ “She’s a wonderful character. She was quite oblivious to how dreadful she was as a singer.”
Florence, she said, was a very determined woman, and because she was so wealthy, so charming and so generous with her charity work nobody in 1940s America liked to turn down her requests to perform. The culmination was a triumphant performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Alongside McLean on stage in this fabulously over-the-top three-hander are Felicity Soper, playing no fewer than three separate roles, and Mitchell Roberts as Cosme McMoon.
‘Glorious!’ is on at the Arts Centre Warburton on Saturday 19 August at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at or call 1300 368 333.