True story of tone deaf singer in Thame


One hundred and fifty years ago a unique musical talent was born.

During a lifetime dedicated to performance and promotion of the great operas, socialite Florence Foster Jenkins achieved more than most of her rival divas, culminating in a sell out concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.

The only problem was, amateur soprano Madame Jenkins, who wore flamboyant performance costumes, was tone deaf and couldn’t sing!

Her determination and tenacity won her admirers, and Peter Quilter’s brilliant comedy, Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins, shows how even the greatest of underdogs can overcome their detractors and realise their ambitions.

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant recently starred in the Oscar nominated biographical comedy drama, directed by Stephen Frears telling the story of heiress Florence.

Now award winning theatre company White Cobra Productions brings the Olivier nominated script to the Thame Players stage as part of a national tour.

Born in 1868, Florence’s life in music saw her start performing in her early 40s, and it wasn’t long until she was mixing with the rich and famous; Cole Porter rarely missed a concert. Despite (or perhaps because of) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City through the 20s, 30s and 40s.

White Cobra’s ambitious staging of the play takes the audience from Florence’s lavish 1940s New York apartment, via the Melotone recording studios, to Carnegie Hall itself.

The story starts with Madame Jenkins at home, accompanied by her English actor companion St Clair Byfield, and dotty sherry loving friend Dorothy who, together with Florence, are looking for a new pianist. Enter the unsuspecting Cosme McMoon and Florence’s greatest adventure begins.

Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins is at The Players Theatre, Nelson Street, Thame, at 7.45pm on Saturday, April 14.

Tickets cost £12 and are available from Spear Travels in Greyhound Walk or call 01844 217228 or book online at