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One-woman show at Eden Court will see the late Gene Kelly's wife celebrate his legend

By Margaret Chrystall

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Patricia, wife of the late Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, has talked about her late husband's affection for Scotland.

“Gene always felt a special connection with Scotland."

Hollywood dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly - three events at Eden Court pay tribute.
Hollywood dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly - three events at Eden Court pay tribute.

The first tickets are now on sale for one of the three events at Eden Court celebrating the life and work of legendary Hollywood dancer and director Gene Kelly.

The first one on September 5 will see Gene Kelly’s wife and biographer Patricia Kelly exploring the life and work of her late husband with her critically-acclaimed one woman show Gene Kelly: The Legacy.

Taking audiences behind the scenes, she presents an intimate portrait of this innovative artist who gave the world such iconic works as An American In Paris and Singin’ In The Rain.

Using film clips, previously unreleased audio recordings, personal keepsakes, and stories he shared with her over their decade together, Patricia Kelly plans to guide audiences on an unforgettable journey into the life and heart of the man who changed the look of dance on film and became one of the world’s most beloved stars.

Before this event, Patricia will introduce a very special screening of the MGM classic movie Singin’ In The Rain on September 2 in Eden Court’s La Scala cinema.

She will also be taking questions from audience members and putting Gene Kelly’s most iconic starring role into context.

Next Thursday (August 19), Eden Court will also be going on-sale with the Gene Kelly-choreographed Starstruck from Scottish Ballet, lovingly revived in collaboration with Patricia Kelly, Scottish Ballet’s CEO/artistic director Christopher Hampson and designer Lez Brotherston.

James Mackenzie-Blackman, chief executive, Eden Court, said: “I have known Patricia for many years and am utterly thrilled she will visit us in the Highland capital to share her wonderful show and introduce Singin’ In The Rain.

"Over the years I have known Patricia I have been moved and amazed both by the stories she shares about her beloved Gene, but also her extraordinary insight into the world-renowned movie musicals.

"These will be not-to-be missed, and unlikely repeated, events and so I urge our audiences to book early and join us for two very special evenings.

"I’d also like to thank our friends and collaborators at Scottish Ballet who have helped to make Patricia’s trip to Scotland possible.

"Eden Court is incredibly proud of our continuing special relationship with our national dance company and look forward to presenting Starstruck (September 30 to October 2).

"This will be a fitting end to our celebration of Gene’s legacy and my personal friendship, and admiration, for Patricia.”

Patricia Kelly and her late husband Gene.
Patricia Kelly and her late husband Gene.

Patricia Kelly, said: “I am excited to be able to present my one-woman show Gene Kelly: The Legacy at beautiful Eden Court in Inverness, and, also, to be able to share many of Gene’s behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the much-beloved Singin’ In The Rain.

“Gene always felt a special connection with Scotland.

“He visited several times, not only to search potential locations for Brigadoon in 1953, but also to attend the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1956, when HRH Queen Elizabeth attended after choosing Gene’s film Invitation To The Dance to open the festivities.

“He incorporated many Scottish dance steps in his numbers, including the delightful ‘skipping step’ he incorporated in the iconic Singin’ In The Rain number.

“He also spoke often about the “awe and wonderment” in his soul that he attributed to the Celtic “mystery and metaphysics” embedded in him and of the wonderful writers and poets that came from this magical place.

“I travelled to Inverness with my father several years ago.

“It means so much to me to be coming back.”

Patricia Kelly met Gene Kelly at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in 1985, when he was the host and narrator for a television special and she was a writer. Soon after, he invited her to California to write his memoir, a job for which she recorded his words nearly every day for over 10 years.

They married in 1990 and were together until his death in 1996.

Currently, Mrs Kelly serves as trustee of The Gene Kelly Image Trust and creative director of The Gene Kelly Legacy, Inc, a corporation established to celebrate Gene Kelly’s artistry worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles where she curates the Gene Kelly Archives and is completing the book about her late husband.

Information about the Gene Kelly events – Patricia Kelly's one-woman show, screening of Singin' In The Rain and Scottish Ballet's performance of Gene Kelly's Starstruck, here: www.eden-court.co.uk

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