Sink or swim with new play

A new play by Charles Leipart tells the true-life story of Pamela Churchill Harriman, the daughter-in-law of Sir Winston Churchill (Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8, 7.30pm).

Swimming At The Ritz, directed by Roland Jaquarello, enjoyed its first success in 2009 and was part of The New Vic’s New Writing Festival in 2010. It stars Felicity Dean and Jos Vantyler, who originally created the roles in 2009, with Dean as Pamela.

In addition to being the prime minister’s daughter-in law, Pamela Harriman was an adventuress and socialite, regarded by some as the most famous courtesan of the 20th century.

In the play she is facing a crisis. In her new role as US Ambassador to France, she is under siege and holed up at the Paris Ritz Hotel with her valet Pietro (Vantyler).

Madame Harriman is being sued for $40 million, having used her $115 million inheritance and the trust fund left for the Harriman grandchildren. Audiences are therefore invited to Pamela’s sale of a lifetime which includes the Picasso, the Renoir and the Matisse…

For the queen of survivors, it is time for her to sink or swim once more.