James Haddrell previews As She Likes It at Greenwich Theatre

In times of unrest, it is common for our storytellers to focus on the major players, telling stories of astonishing bravery, of unspeakable atrocity, of power politicians and international strategists.

James Haddrell, artistic director of Greenwich Theatre

Back when COVID closed theatres around the world, here at Greenwich Theatre we took the decision to keep working, moving online and reaching out to people in their homes instead of bringing them to us.
Many theatres did the same, streaming archive recordings of work they’d previously presented on stage, striving to keep audiences engaged until they were able to open their doors once more.

For us though, as well as reaching audiences at home, we made it a priority to reach artists too, and particularly emerging creatives and actors who would otherwise find themselves without any opportunities to develop their craft for an unknown period of time.

At the centre of that programme of work, titled Greenwich Connects, was a reimagined online production of The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, with a large cast of emerging actors each recording a section of the show in their own homes. With a guest appearance from Dame Helen Mirren, the show attracted media and audience attention both here and in the US.

If the exercise was to enable the featured actors to develop and grow, then Chloe Wade, one of our Ophelias, is definitely one of the success stories of the project.

Now, just over three years on, Chloe is set to take her own new play, As SHE Likes It, on a national tour, starting here in Greenwich at the end of the month.

Revisiting the assault on Hollywood dancer Patricia Douglas that happened nearly 90 years ago, Chloe has been inspired by what is perhaps the best-suppressed scandal in Hollywood history.

In 1937, 20-year-old Douglas was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted at an MGM party. Taking on Hollywood’s most powerful institution, the dancer filed charges which were swiftly dismissed and silenced. Three generations later, through a fusion of live theatre and filmed footage, As SHE Likes It exposes the cultural legacy of sexism and exploitation that still haunts the industry today.

Combining multimedia, verbatim, cabaret and drag, As SHE Likes It is described as a darkly comedic, queer, contemporary, Brechtian-style play. It peeks behind the sepia cigarette smoke and passionate embraces of Old Hollywood through the eyes of its archetypes to pose the question: how much has changed between the Hollywood of yesteryear and now?

The impressive cast joining Chloe in the show includes Krupa Pattani, who can currently be seen on ITV’s Mr Bates vs the Post Office; Lucy Tuck, who has just finished a Christmas run in The Selfish Giant (also heading for Greenwich this spring); Tanika Yearwood, who has appeared in Emilia and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and who comes to Greenwich direct from a season at The Globe; and Stacey Evans from Cold Feet and Vera, who recently performed her own début solo show, Hanging Around.

As SHE Likes It starts a national tour at Greenwich Theatre on 27 January.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.