‘Downton Abbey’ star is playing Ava Gardner on stage next year

Downton fans can see Elizabeth McGovern performing live in London soon in a new play.

McGovern is best known for playing Lady Cora in all six seasons of Downton Abbey and 2019’s movie.

The American actress takes to the stage in early 2022 in Ava: The Secret Conversations.

Based on the book by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner, the play has been adapted by Elizabeth McGovern herself.

The official synopsis reads: “A fading star of Hollywood’s golden age, now living a quiet life in 1980s London, hires a journalist to write her biography in order to bring in much needed income.

“The journalist can’t believe his luck. From poor Southern farm girl to a powerful Hollywood goddess her story is pure celluloid. A devastating beauty whose hard drinking, hard loving lifestyle kept the gossip columnists busy as her movies thrilled the punters. The ultimate femme fatale – Ava Gardner.

“Not always intentionally, Ava spills the beans on her three husbands to often humorous affect: Mickey Rooney, a serial cheater so notorious that even his mother warned Gardner about him; bandleader Artie Shaw, “a dominating son of a bitch – always putting me down,” and Frank Sinatra: “We were fighting all the time. Fighting and boozing. It was madness. But he was good in the feathers”.

“This compelling new play explores the fractured relationship between the public and private lives of one of Hollywood’s great icons.”

Watch an interview with Elizabeth McGovern about the play:

Ava: The Secret Conversations is set to run at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London, from 14th January to 16th April 2022.

Tickets are on sale now via the play’s official website.

Elizabeth McGovern will reprise her role as Lady Cora in Downton Abbey: A New Era when it arrives in cinemas next spring.

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection box set is available on DVD on Amazon.