The cast and creatives have been announced for AVA: The Secret Conversations, the new play from Elizabeth McGovern based on the book by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner at the Riverside Studios from 14th January. Taking to the stage with Academy Award-nominee McGovern (Downton Abbey, ITV), who stars as Ava, is Anatol Yusef (Boardwalk Empire, HBO; Punisher, Netflix) as Peter Evans, the journalist Ava hired to write her autobiography when she lived in 1980s London. Directed by filmmaker Gaby Dellal (3 Generations, Big Beach; Angels Crest, Process Film), AVA is a captivating exploration into the fractured relationship between the public and private lives of one of Hollywood’s greatest icons.
Part memory play, part sparring match, through this tense and witty play Ava and Peter debate, fight and flirt their way through the memories of Ava’s fabulous life as they struggle to get the story straight. Expect a rich sensory journey through Ava’s whisky-soaked recollections of her life as an actor and with her three famous husbands – Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
The production will feature design by 59 Productions (Oslo, Broadway and West End; An American In Paris, Broadway, West End, Paris and US Tour), who will bring their unique talents with projection design to the production, evoking the magical atmosphere of Hollywood’s heyday. It also features costume design by Fotini Dimou (The Children’s Act, BBC Films; Hay Fever, Chichester Festival Theatre) with lighting design by Elliot Griggs (Fleabag, Wyndham’s Theatre; An Octoroon, National Theatre), sound design by Ella Wahlström (I Think We Are Alone, Frantic Assembly; Anna, National Theatre) and is produced by Karl Sydow with the support of the Ava Gardner Trust.