All Fed Up, No Place to Go: Diana Quick, One the Brits Off Bway, Stars in Woman Destroyed April 27-May 16

News   All Fed Up, No Place to Go: Diana Quick, One the Brits Off Bway, Stars in Woman Destroyed April 27-May 16
The Woman Destroyed, starring Diana Quick — making her New York stage debut — begins a run April 27 as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival of works that originated in the United Kingdom.
Diana Quick in Woman Destroyed
Diana Quick in Woman Destroyed

The solo play, set in 1969, is a re-telling of a first-person novella by existentialist-feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir, about the betrayal and self-pity one woman feels in her flat on New Year's Eve.

Like other works in rep in the Brits Off Broadway festival, The Woman Destroyed plays the 59E59 Theaters on East 59th Street.

Quick, who adapted the novella by writer de Beauvoir (called "Monologue" in a collection, "The Woman Destroyed"), previously starred in the play at the Edinburgh Festival and then in London for a season at the Lyric Hammersmith. Richard Cottrell directs.

"It's about a woman who is apparently very together," explained Quick, widely known in America for playing Julia Flyte in the TV miniseries, "Brideshead Revisited."

"She looks very together," Quick told Playbill On-Line. "She looks as if she has a life other people would envy. She lives in a nice apartment, she has had loads of fun in her life, but it's New Year's Eve and she's all dressed up and nobody calls her. So she lets all these demons out, and gradually we see what goes on underneath this apparently in-control person in her beautiful clothes." The lady is hoping for an invitation out, "but nobody calls, and midnight comes, and everybody outside is celebrating the New Year and she gets more and more mad about it. At one point, she goes, 'Look at me, I'm on the shelf! I'm too young, it's not fair. I was made for the good life. I'm fed up with it, fed up with it, fed up, fed up, fed up, fed up, fed up, fed up...' She does 80 'fed ups.' She does let a few cats out of a few bags. That's really what attracted me to it."

Quick added: "There are quite a lot of parts these days for women of other kinds, but there aren't very many that show you the dark underbelly of an apparently well-heeled woman of a certain age."

Simone de Beauvoir, who died in 1986, had said she wrote the piece as a sort of "morality tale," Quick explained.

"She made her name as the author of 'The Second Sex,' which was really the first analysis of what state women were in around the world," Quick said. "One of the things she warned against was women who didn't have an independent life of their own, who were only able to give themselves any value by saying, 'I am somebody's daughter' or 'I am this man's wife' or 'I am the mother of this very brilliant child, who is a credit to me.' She had tried to expose the sort of dangers of only living in what she would have called a narcissistic way: Seeing yourself reflected in someone else's glory. Because if it screws up, then you're left with nothing."

Quick's work on the London stage has included both the classics and musical theatre, ranging from Troilus and Cressida to The Threepenny Opera. Most recently she starred in After Mrs. Rochester in the West End (director Polly Teale won The Evening Standard's Best Director Award), and has just finished a tour of the production in Australia and New Zealand.

Quick was the first ever Woman President of Oxford University’s Dramatic Society.

Performances of The Woman Destroyed play the intimate Theater C at 59E59 Theaters, on East 59th Street between Park and Madison. Opening is May 1. Performances play April 27-May 16: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday & Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM & 7 PM.

Tickets range $30-$50. For information, call (212) 279 4200.

For scheduling information, visit

Brits Off-Broadway is a festival of 11 new works from British writers, performers and companies.

If you've only read about such famous festivals as the Edinburgh Fringe or about ambitious Off-Broadway-style UK companies committed to new voices, this is a rare chance to witness the kind of work done over there, but on American soil.


Also in continuing rep through July 4 in three different spaces at 59E59 Theaters:

  • Sun Is Shining, written and directed by Matt Wilkinson and presented by the British-Asian Mu Lan Theatre Co, "a searing tale of love, betrayal and the quest for identity. It tells a darkly comic story of a love affair between a mixed-raced city trader and a recovering alcoholic Scottish artist." (Theater B, through May 9)
  • Heavenly, presented by the internationally acclaimed British theatre company Frantic Assembly, "is a show that ponders 59 things you need never do again when you are dead." The company "is renowned for attracting new and young audiences to the theatre." (Theater B, May 11-May 30)
  • Cooking for Kings, starring acclaimed actor and writer, Ian Kelly, is directed by Simon Green and based on Kelly's best-selling biography. Cooking for Kings "is a solo show based on the life of Antonin Careme, the first celebrity chef, and follows his rise to become a chef for Napoleon, the Prince Regent, Tsar Alexander I and others." (Theater C, May 18-June 6)
  • Absolutely Fascinating, presented by Britain's trio, Fascinating Aida, is a satirical musical comedy. "They bring their new show to New York, direct from their sold-out season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a record-breaking UK tour and a hit season at the Comedy Theater in London's West End for which they were nominated (for the third time) for the Best Entertainment Olivier Award." (Theater A, May 20-June 13)
  • Ghost City, presented by Wales' Sgript Cymru, is the fourth hit written by Gary Owen and directed by Simon Harris. The work is "a dark and sexy live performance underscored by free jazz and an electronic sound score," following the events of 24 lives, over the course of 24 hours, "all linked in a way no one could predict." (Theater B, June 1-13)
  • Berkoff's Women, playing in repertory with No Fear!, both starring Linda Marlowe. Berkoff's Women "is a compilation of the most rewarding moments of Berkoff's female roles," and No Fear! "is a set of entirely real events from Linda Marlowe's extraordinary life." A rotating performance schedule allows you to see both shows on Saturday and Sunday and on consecutive weekdays. (Theater C, June 8-July 4)
  • Hurricane, presented by Ransom Productions, Belfast Northern Ireland's newest theatre company, stars the author, Richard Dormer, and is directed by Rachel O'Riordan. Hurricane is "an astonishing and devastating portrayal of the life of Northern Ireland's World Champion snooker-player, enjoyed sold-out runs in London's Soho Theatre and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where Richard Dormer was named Best Actor. (Theater B, June 15-July 4)
  • The Straits, presented by Paines Plough, Britain's leading theatre for new work, is new Scottish writer Gregory Burke's second play. "It follows an extraordinary summer in the lives of four teenagers in the Straits of Gibraltar during the Falklands War of 1982." John Tiffany directs, with movement by Steven Hoggett, following a popular UK tour. (Theater A, June 15-July 4)
  • Today’s Most Popular News: