Onassis explores the Greek shipping magnate’s relationships with two women and how he is torn between them. One was Maria Callas, the world famous opera singer and the other Jacqueline Kennedy, arguably one of the most iconic women of the 20th century.
Onassis’s smooth but brash charm won him the love of Callas but their passionate affair was over when he married Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of JFK. The excellent Anna Francolini as a heartbroken Callas sends a shiver down the spine as she curses his new love and marriage.
The tragic lives of the Kennedy and Onassis families are well known. One such moment is highlighted in the play when Onassis hears that his young son has been killed in a plane crash. Lindsay’s Onassis conveys a powerful, commanding character with many insecurities and flaws. The audience observe as he turns into a paranoid and unsettled man unable to get over the death of his son. Many have said that it was this event that led to his death just two years later.
Based on Peter Evans’ book Nemesis the story speculates on some of the many conspiracies surrounding both families including connections with the Mafia, Hollywood and a theory that Onassis was behind the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. The play captures the wealth and glamour of the era, taking place on Onassis’s yacht and the Greek Islands.
Observing this portrayal of Onassis and his most intimate relationships which made headlines across the world is a real treat and is not to be missed.
Onassis plays at the Novello Theatre until 8 January 2011. Book tickets here