Gwyneth Paltrow court case’s ‘ridiculousness made it captivating’, say creators of new play

Gwyneth Paltrow court case’s ‘ridiculousness made it captivating’, say creators of new play
  • PublishedDecember 18, 2023

Gwyneth Paltrow was awarded just $1 after she defended herself in a court case earlier this year, where retired optometrist Terry Sanderson alleged she had collided with him at a Utah ski resort in 2016.

It lifted the lid on a world of celebrity and privilege – thrilling the internet.

Now the bizarre court case which saw Gwyneth Paltrow sued over a skiing accident has been turned into a new stage show after its writers recognised proceedings last March were “solid gold for theatre”.

Tasked with embodying Paltrow, Linus Karp – one half of the award-winning duo Awkward Productions – told Sky News the idea came about after he was “taken by the trial and the ridiculousness of it.”

Gwyneth Goes Skiiing. Pic: Jonny Ruff (via PR)
Image:Pic: Jonny Ruff

“An Oscar-winning actress, Goop’s founding queen, put in a courtroom in Utah having this man who is quite far from a Hollywood celebrity accusing her of these things… the silliness of it in a courtroom where everything is taken so seriously.

“The ridiculousness of it just made it so captivating.”

Joseph Martin plays the retired eye doctor, Terry Sanderson, who failed in his attempt to sue the actress for $300,000, after claiming he was left with life-altering injuries when the pair collided on the slopes in 2016.

“It’s solid gold for theatre,” Martin adds.

“Regardless of what happened we are making fun of the media circus around it and the fun that came out of that.”

Packaging up popular culture moments – recognising there is a value when some something goes viral – has given rise to the phenomena that are quick turnaround theatre productions.

This was seen only recently in the stage version of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ court case.

Gwyneth Goes Skiing. Pic: Jonny Ruff (via PR)
Image:Pic: Jonny Ruff

“In the world of 24-hour rolling news, social media and television cameras being in courtrooms like that, every moment is an instant meme,” Martin insists.

“It’s clicked instantly online, which gives you so much theatrical material to dive into.”


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