The Bluefire Theatre Company specialize in small scale plays about the lives of both real and imaginary characters from the world of entertainment through the ages. They take particular satisfaction in subverting history to focus on lesser-known characters, consigning their more famous contemporaries to supporting roles.
Their production of" Marie Lloyd Stole My Life" penned by emerging writer J.J. Leppink, tells the story of Nelly Power, child prodigy and Music Hall star at the age of 15. A Male impersonator, soubrette and headliner at all the major theatres, Nelly was a force to be reckoned with in an era where theatre was one of the very few areas where women could be properly independent
Their podcast, "Famous People You've Never Heard Of" complements the live theatre work and includes interviews with experts about now forgotten stars of times past.
Battersea Bardot is a one-woman musical which explores the life of 1960s London film star Carol White (Cathy Come Home, Poor Cow) and the nightmares that female performers faced - and still face - in the world of entertainment.
Born during World War 2 to a west London scrap dealer, Carol defied the odds to become a major film and television star at the heart of Swinging London, and in doing so exemplified the social mobility that defined the era, particularly in the entertainment industry. Working with talents as diverse as Ken Loach, Peter Sellers, Michael Winner, Oliver Reed, John Barry, Orson Welles, Dean Martin and Sir John Mills, for a short time Carol's star burned bright. But behind the glittering façade there lay a dark and troubling life beset with demons, and a world that was as exploitative and manipulative as it was celebratory. Cast off by the industry that had made her a star, Carol became lost in a Hollywood nightmare and died, aged just 48.
Battersea Bardot was presented, in association with the British Film Institute, at the BFI Southbank in November 2019, the first live musical ever to be staged at this renowned centre of British cinema. Carol was performed by Lizzii Hills and the production was directed by Ralph Bogard.