Stephen Sewell’s Arbus and West draws on the infamous meeting in 1964 between two extraordinary women, legendary photographer, Diane Arbus and Hollywood bombshell, Mae West, and imagines what might have transpired. Stephen has masterfully created a power play of sexuality and intrigue.
Hollywood bombshell Mae West built her career on lookin’ good – walkin’ the walk and talkin’ the talk – while legendary photographer Diane Arbus was famous for finding beauty in the everyday. When Diane turns up at Mae’s glistening LA apartment in 1964 to take her portrait, tensions quickly flare. Mae’s version of herself is very different to the one Diane wants to catch on film. But whose version wins out when a master of illusion meets a master of truth?
Arbus and West was first produced by Melbourne Theatre Company, premiering at the Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne on February 22, 2019.