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. We are delighted to announce that John Misto’s LIP SERVICE will open at the Park Theatre in London, playing a 5 week season from April 26, 2017. Miriam Margolyes will be playing the role of Helena Rubinstein in the London production.
“Funny, lively and bitchy… with moments of poignancy that emerge to offer some balance and gravitas… (A) profusion of one-liners that tickle, sting and amuse.” Suzy goes see (for Dark Voyager)
“An important Australian play that pulls no punches… theatrically and historically compelling.”
Stage Whispers (for The Shoe-Horn Sonata)
FROM: AUGUST 17
DIRECTED BY: NICOLE BUFFONI
CAST INCLUDES: TIM DRAXL, AMANDA MUGGLETON
RUNNING TIME: APPROX 2 HRS (INCLUDING INTERVAL)
POST SHOW Q&A:
FRIDAY, 01 SEPT 8:15PM
WEDNESDAY, 13 SEPT, 11:00AM
THURSDAY, 28 SEPT, 11:00AM
“That Lip Service remains watchable is mainly down to Amanda Muggleton. She manages to retain humanity and an intelligent take on the character of Rubinstein (who could so easily be merely a wise-cracking gargoyle in lesser hands). In the second half, which quite frankly, is where the play really resides, she finds the pathos and vulnerability beneath the carapace of the narcissistic autocrat and it’s genuinely moving and illuminating.” STAGE WHISPERS (REVIEW)
“Amanda Muggleton hardly leaves the stage. The role is totally demanding and she grasps the part with highly professional vigour.” SYDNEY SCOOP (REVIEW)
“Muggleton as Rubinstein is superb – at first elegantly coifed Dragon-Empress-like with her hands weighted down by huge rings. She is gruff, seemingly cold, abrupt yet flamboyant and extremely parsimonious. There is but small mention of her being a philanthropist and her support for the arts. Eventually we see the fragility hidden beneath and her being afraid to love. When we learn of the real tragedy of her life empathy has already been established with the audience and her inability to express or receive love is extremely moving.” ARTS HUB (REVIEW)
“But undeniably, it’s Amanda Muggleton’s bold, garish, scene-chewing performance as Helena Rubinstein that adds the high gloss coating to Misto’s gloriously, bitingly funny script. Muggleton embodies Rubinstein as if she were channelling the Polish faux princess, playing her with mischief and nonchalance that enhances her perfectly timed one-liners.” THE MUSIC (REVIEW)
“Amanda Muggleton has been perfectly cast as Rubinstein, a role that is big enough to take the gusto and talent that Muggleton always brings to her work.” SYDNEY CHIC (REVIEW)