A selection of Ivor Novello’s best-loved songs and his doting mother to sing them – a simple enough idea for a show … except nothing can ever be simple when it’s Madame Clara Novello Davies who takes centre stage. Indomitable, impetuous, with an ego the size of the Ritz, her genius for choral music had once won her international acclaim.
But it’s 1938 and those halcyon days are long past and never to return – not that Ivor could ever persuade her of that. With their relationship at (yet another) crisis point, this drama sees Clara struggle to come to terms with a world that has lost interest in her kind of music and fallen head-over-heels for her son. She is in her seventies, but still harbouring hare-brained schemes to get back into the limelight. And poor Ivor, always the loving son, is doing his best to keep her happy – and to keep her in check.
As she sings his songs and dutifully sings his praises, she finds herself re-living the traumas of a remarkable life that took her from a modest suburb in Cardiff to the epicentre of London’s Theatreland.