Moonlight & Magnolias, a delightful madcap comedy that is also a valentine to the golden days of Hollywood, is being brought to the area by the Saddleworth Players at the Delph Millgate Arts Centre.
Legendary film producer David O. Selznick is five weeks into shooting Gone With the Wind when he realizes the script is awful, and that the director doesn’t have a clue. He has five days to replace them, and restart the shoot, or the production will shut down. Selznick calls Victor Fleming from the set of The Wizard to Oz to direct, and he taps legendary playwright, screenwriter and script doctor Ben Hecht to rewrite the script. There’s only one problem: Hecht hasn’t read the book.
Over the course of five screwball days, the three men, assisted by Selznick’s assistant, Miss Poppenghul, frantically craft one of the most beloved screenplays of all time. As Selznick and Fleming act out the book for Hecht, the phone rings off the hook with calls from the likes of Vivien Leigh, Louis B. Mayer and Ed Sullivan.
Hutchinson’s play, based on historical events, is written as farce, with some real laugh out loud moments but the characters also deal with serious questions about race and the fragile position of Jewish executives in Hollywood.
Moonlight & Magnolia Opens Saturday 30 September and runs until 7 October :
Saddleworth Players season of Five Plays also includes Great Expectations (25 Nov- 2 December), The Farndale Murder Mystery (27 January- 3 Feb), April in Paris (7-14 April) We are Three Sisters (June 2-9).
This year they are by Saddleworth Live at the Millgate, moving from their previous venue at The Swan. Tim & Michael have put together a programme of theatre, comedy, music and cabaret over 10 nights through the season.
Full details and tickets available on www.saddleworthplayers.org.uk/shows/all .