I Loved Lucy at the Arts Theatre West End: First night review by Stephen Vowles

Lee Tannen’s I Loved Lucy is an admirably written and enthralling piece of theatre that tells the story of his friendship with American comedy legend Lucille Ball. Director Anthony Biggs has got exceptional performances from stars Sandra Dickinson as Lucy and Matthew Scott as Lee. When the two actors have scenes together the chemistry is magnificent. He has Lee talking directly to the audience which creates the illusion that we are watching a television documentary about the star. The play is packed with dates and mentions of events which successfully tells the story of their friendship. One of the highlights is the 61st Academy Awards which is beautifully recreated, even down to matching the gown that the real Lucy wore on the night. This is a historical record but it also has passion and emotion that demonstrates that Lucy was a hard lady to say no to and that when you were her friend it was for life despite the rows that could interrupt that friendship. Both Miss Dickinson and Mr Scott are superb and the accolades that have been bestowed on Sandra for her portrayal are totally deserved. Her version of Lucille Ball is both heartfelt and accurate with her comedy timing matching the original’s perfectly. Some could accuse Lee Tannen of being self indulgent by turning his memoirs into a play, but I have to disagree. This is a stunning piece of theatre that offers an informed insight in the art of being famous and the power that comes with that fame. A gorgeous story about true friendship.


I Loved Lucy runs until 2 September at the Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, WC2. Box office 020 7836 8463 or

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