Community Events

Loving Lady Chatterley
by Neal Metcalf
The 'movie' of the play on its 10th anniversary
(The play was originally performed on stage at Arena Theater in 2007)

Cast: Sam Parsons, Blake More, Amanda Stinson, Margaret Nelson-Quin, and Chris Campbell
Zooms and camera work by the late Cybirk
Artwork Ron Sackman, Jack O'Rourke, Bill Elmore
In Memory of the painter Bill Elmore
All proceeds will benefit Arena Theater

The play revolves around the coming-of-age of Barbara Weekley, Frieda Lawrence's estranged daughter. Barbara, a young woman in the play, was abandoned by her mother as an 8-year old when Frieda ran off with D.H. Lawrence, whom she later married. During the course of the play's action, Barbara learns about art and life, while establishing her own relationship with Lawrence as he writes Lady Chatterley's Lover.

The play is set near Florence, Italy and Bandol, France. In case you don't remember, Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned in America until 1960 and it is credited with affecting the moral climate of the 60s and 70s, both here and abroad.
Loving Lady Chatterley is a well-researched, historically literate play about a group of artists and the hook that helped free the west of Victorian values.
The play contains adult material and brief nudity.

Author's Note:
The play takes place during the last three years of D.H. Lawrence's life. In my twenties Lawrence was to me what he becomes to Barbara in this play. Though we do not know precisely what the interaction was between Frieda and Lawrence and Barbara, and the Huxleys, or what caused him to start writing the scandalous 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' (sometimes it needs a scandal to keep an artist remembered)-it could have been somewhat the way it happens in this play.

We do know that Barbara came to love and respect Lawrence, and she did name her daughter Ursula after a Lawrence heroine, took her to visit Taos, and lived to over a hundred near Florence. Frieda is buried near Taos just in front of the shrine that was built for Lawrence's ashes at Kiowa Ranch. Aldous and Maria also went to the ranch for a long visit before they settled in Hollywood (where Aldous had work as a screenwriter and experimented with LSD); he gave a lecture at Idaho State University (of all places!), and I was lucky enough to meet him over a long breakfast of anecdotes about the time period of this play. And he did 'invent us a word' as Maria asks of him in the play. The word was both popular and scientific: 'psychedelic.' And I was fortunate to have two long meetings with an old woman named Enid Hilton, who was a friend of Lawrence when they were young and who visited them in Italy and helped smuggle-in copies of the banned novel. Enid lived her last forty years in Ukiah, where I looked her up.

Loving Lady Chatterley

Tuesday, August 22, 7 p.m.

$10 donation at the door