05 April 2014

Doctor Dietrich's Best Production? Her Daughter.

[In 1971, Jeffrey Archer organised a charity midnight matinee (to benefit MIND) at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. It was Marlene Dietrich's first  concert appearance in London for several years. This backstage interview  with both Marlene and Maria Riva, preparing for the show   comes courtesy of the wonderful Crees Collection.]


by James Green

September 1971: Marlene at Heathrow.
There are many ways of saying Darling. But Marlene Dietrich's way is unique. A mixture of warning, invitation, seduction, plus a mocking suggestion that the men are about to be separated from the boys. But “Dar-ling” she says silkily by way of greeting. And crosses to plant a kiss on my five o'clock shadow. Not at all a bad start backstage at the Drury Lane theatre where tonight at midnight she will hold the football pitch size stage alone for one hour, 45 minutes. It is a charity concert and the audience will be paying up to £50-a-seat to hear her sing 25 songs and turn on the living legend magic.

At the moment she is wearing a navy blue coat with matching trousers, and a floppy-brimmed hat in the same colour pulled down over one eye.

As she checks on songs, running order, lighting, I have a word with her daughter, Maria.