Elsa Edgar

Written by Bob Kingdom & Neil Bartlett
Performed by Bob Kingdom
Directed by Casey Childs

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Gossip. Surveillance. How do you keep off the blacklist?

High above the glamorous skyline of 50's Manhattan, the terrifying Elsa Maxwell - party hostess and social power broker - drags up for her next masquerade, while J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, checks his files, tightens his grip and slips into something a little more comfortable.

My dear, she knew everybody; Coward and Porter, the Rainers and the Windsors. Making a career out of her legendary ugliness, she dished the dirt on King Farouk, fixed up the Aly Khan with Rita Hayworth... and the only love of her own life, Maria Callas. If you were on Elsa's list, your entry into High Society was assured; once on the blacklist, you were persona non grata to all who followed the social sun.

Elsa's world of masquerade and scandal had a shadow; J Edgar Hoover, eavesdropper, McCarthyite, part-time transvestite and control freak. The FBI was also compiling lists, spreading gossip, dividing the world into the acceptable and the unacceptable.

In an astonishing double-act, solo show legend Bob Kingdom dishes the dirt on paranoia, blacklisting, scandal-mongering and the fine art of deciding just what to wear when you're falling out with the Windsors.



"Suave virtuosity" (New York Post)

"Bob Kingdom, as actor and playwright, is onto a good thing... he is in total command of this frightening glimpse into a world that was, in Elsa's words, 'a mere twinkle of a costume ball ago'" (Backstage NYC)

"A fascinating and disturbing double portrait of two of the American Century's most powerful figures... Kingdom portrays both characters, and brilliantly." (The Westsider NYC)

"an absorbing one-man power-play" (The Times)

"It's a witty, pacey script, meticulously directed - almost choreographed - by Robert Gillespie, which never fails to entertain" (Time Out)

"totally engaging and highly amusing... superbly timed, beautifully delivered" (The Stage)