Battersea Bardot is a one-woman musical which explores the life of 1960s London film star Carol White (Cathy Come Home, Poor Cow) and the nightmares that female performers faced - and still face - in the world of entertainment.
Born during World War 2 to a west London scrap dealer, Carol defied the odds to become a major film and television star at the heart of Swinging London, and in doing so exemplified the social mobility that defined the era, particularly in the entertainment industry. Working with talents as diverse as Ken Loach, Peter Sellers, Michael Winner, Oliver Reed, John Barry, Orson Welles, Dean Martin and Sir John Mills, for a short time Carol's star burned bright. But behind the glittering façade there lay a dark and troubling life beset with demons, and a world that was as exploitative and manipulative as it was celebratory. Cast off by the industry that had made her a star, Carol became lost in a Hollywood nightmare and died, aged just 48.
Battersea Bardot launched the 2023 Premieres season, for 10 performances at New Wimbledon Theatre Studio in September 2023, produced by Becca Rowson and directed by Elizabeth Huskisson. Prior to that it was presented, in association with the British Film Institute, at the BFI Southbank in November 2019, the first live musical ever to be staged at this renowned centre of British cinema.
Listen here to recordings of five songs from Battersea Bardot, as performed by Lizzii Hills.