Zelda- The Last Flapper by William Luce

William Luce’s 1984 play comes to life in this rendition by the Thespis Studio that is made vivid by the solo acting of Loana Pavelescu. With the direction of Liana Ceterchi, Zelda - The Last Flapper documents the life and decline of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Save for audio recordings, the entirety of the play is spoken in Romanian by Pavelescu, who delivers a sensational performance that captures the eccentricity of Zelda and her zany tendencies whilst recalling the mistakes she made from the confines of an asylum.

Save for audio recordings, the entirety of the play is spoken in Romanian by Pavelescu, who delivers a sensational performance that captures the eccentricity of Zelda and her zany tendencies whilst recalling the mistakes she made from the confines of an asylum. Prosaic, with powerful acting from the star, Zelda - The Last Flapper moves seamlessly from the confident southern belle’s ‘take-it-all’ attitude to the painful rehabilitation and ragged depression of a woman ravaged by her regrets. The minimalistic nature of the props and costume design aids the authenticity of the performance.

The delivery of the play lets it down rather than the play itself, though this could easily be resolved with some minor adjustments such as having a second projection board for subtitles on the other side of the room and having all lighting and equipment kept in the back row so as not to distract the audience’s attention. Perhaps it would also thrive in a better environment that would suit the needs of a Luce production. If you can, however, forgive these shortcomings, it is actually quite engaging and definitely worthwhile seeing for the evocative display of fragility it portrays.

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Performances

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The Blurb

Celebrating one of the most intriguing women of the 20th century, Zelda Fitzgerald. Her words remain in our hearts forever: 'I don’t want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally'.

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