Saturday, April 27, 2013


1 comment:

Gary Horrocks said...

Dear all,

having just emerged from the anarchy and chaos of moving house the dust has only started to settle and I am playing catch-up on everybody's Judy postings, emails to the International Judy Garland Club and membership enquiries. It's business as usual for the Club, and issue 5 of 'Judy Garland - a Celebration' is well underway. More on that in a Club update to follow soon.

I was fascinated to read the responses to what is increasingly referred to over here as 'THAT Bennett play.' I was given review tickets to the London show and was appalled by it. It was historically and contextually way off mark, ridiculed her addiction problems, implied that she disrespected her fans and presented her as some manic firework when in reality she was, as we all know, frail and very ill during this period. In fact, it was miraculous that she completed the engagement at all.

Club founder Lorna Smith and I spent an hour or so chatting about the Talk of the Town season, and it refreshed some lovely memories that never made it into her first book, or indeed into the Club journal 'Rainbow Review.' Lorna recalls mixing a vodka and grapefruit juice for Judy after one show and being playfully admonished for making it too strong. She explained how Mickey Deans had hurriedly arranged the wedding over three or so days; that in his naivety he turned the reception into a media circus when all poor Judy wanted was a quiet gathering of close friends at her house in Chelsea. (The press were critical of the fact that no stars responded to the invite, when in reality the short notice would have prevented anybody from doing so. Lorna Smith was invited on Thursday 13th March, two days before the wedding. She told Judy: 'I only just made it,' to which Judy responded: 'So did I.') She truly was a candle in the wind during this period, but as ever retained that great sense of humour.

My favourite anecdote from this period is Judy being handed to autograph on closing night a 1948 Picturegoer magazine where she featured on the cover. Judy covered her eyes and looked at her smile then covered her smile and drew attention to her eyes. She commented: 'The mouth is smiling; but not the eyes.' Such a poignant observation and reflection on her tenure at MGM.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, the BBC rang a few months ago and indicated that they were going to produce a short four minute TV documentary all about Judy in London in 1969 for a show called 'The One Show' on BBC 1. I initially groaned and tried to influence the content by proving context around the period. Her love of London, her dazzling career there from 1951 onwards, the history of her Club, her health during the period and so forth. It's always a gamble trying to cooperate on these projects, but the team had their hearts in the right place, and I do hope they do Judy justice. The show is due to air May 21st at 7 pm London time. I'll drop you all an update if that should change. The great news is that the production team where so interested in the whole London/England connection that they are considering a one hour documentary. Let's wait and see.

If you'd like to join the Club, everything you need to know about joining is on the web page at:

or email us at:

Best for now,

Gary Horrocks
Editor - Judy Garland - a Celebration

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