By John Misto – Australian Premiere
Helena Rubinstein’s towering makeup empire is under constant threat. Staving off cunning attacks from her rivals Elizabeth Arden and Revlon, she holds fast to the principles that got her to the top: thrift, ruthlessness and a take-no-prisoners steely resolve. But when she finds an unlikely confidante in personal assistant Patrick, it dawns on her that perhaps she isn’t such a hardened business woman after all.
In John Misto’s uproarious new play, Rubinstein’s astonishing career is charted from humble beginnings in country Victoria to the intoxicating heights of international success. It’s a match made in heaven as the glorious Amanda Muggleton returns to the Ensemble stage as one of the most terrifying yet oddly endearing icons of the makeup industry.
It’s rare for a new Australian play to have a London season before it’s even premiered in Australia. John Misto’s LIP SERVICE played a 5 week season at the Park Theatre in London from 26 April 2017, under the title MADAME RUBINSTEIN. Miriam Margolyes played the role of Helena Rubinstein in the London production. The season of MADAME RUBINSTEIN at London’s Park Theatre sold out before its first performance. Ensemble Theatre was the first theatre to acquire the rights to LIP SERVICE.
Prominent UK publishers, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama,published John Misto’s play, MADAME RUBINSTEIN, to coincide with its world premiere at Park Theatre, London. This is possibly the first time a new Australian play was published in the UK before it had a first performance anywhere. John Misto’s new play MADAME RUBINSTEIN (opening at Ensemble under its Australian title LIP SERVICE) has generated a lot of attention before its world premiere in London. England’s Sunday Express Review section asked John Misto to write the cover story on his latest play and here is the result.
CAST: TIM DRAXL, AMANDA MUGGLETON & LINDEN WILKINSON
DIRECTOR: NICOLE BUFFONI
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: SHAUN RENNIE
DESIGNER: ANNA GARDINER
LIGHTING DESIGNER: CHRISTOPHER PAGE
SOUND DESIGNER: DARYL WALLIS
STAGE MANAGER: DANI IRONSIDE
WARDROBE COORDINATOR: MARGARET GILL
DIALECT COACH: NICK CURNOW
This performance contains partial nudity.
**** “An unexpected delight that we wouldn’t hesitate to see again.” monstagigz
“The play itself is a witty and entertaining story” The Upcoming
“We care – absolutely care – about what happens to Rubinstein, and to those around her.” Britishtheatre.com
“…you can’t help but laugh out loud…it’s undeniably funny.” Broadway World