Katherine Ryan perfectly captures Joan Rivers' spirit in Urban Myths

Katherine Ryan perfectly captures Joan Rivers’ spirit as she stars as her idol in an upcoming episode of Urban Myths.

The comedian embodies the late Hollywood actress in scenes due to air tonight, which shows her rehearsing for off-Broadway play Driftwood alongside a 16-year-old Barbara Streisand played by End Of The F***ing World star Jessica Barden.

In an exclusive preview clip shared with Metro.co.uk, Joan is failing as a club comic and wants to turn her hand to more serious artistic pursuits, but unfortunately, the only part available is ‘Man in Black’, which Joan demands is gender-swapped to ‘Woman in Black’.

Having not read the play beforehand, Joan doesn’t realise that the ‘Woman in Black’ and Barbra’s character, Lorna, have a love scene together.

‘You ain’t leaving me are you?’ Katherine says as she portrays Joan. ‘You know I can’t go on without you.’

She later adds: ‘I love you, you know?’


Jessica’s Barbara then responds: ‘And I love you too,’ before closing her eyes and pursing her lips in anticipation of a kiss.

Not realising the intimate moment, a confused Katherine demands: ‘Why did you stop?’

The episode is based on Joan’s recollections of the play she starred in with Barbra, who has remained tight-lipped about the whole experience.

The comedy drama is written and directed by Sue Perkins.

Describing the episode, Sue told the Guardian: ‘The brilliant thing about the Urban Myths idea is that you’re asked to be a detective and fantasist at the same time.

‘Much of what I’ve written is fantastical. But we do know, from a playbill, that in late 1958, early 1959, Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand acted in a play called Driftwood.’

Joan died aged 81 in 2014.

‘She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends,’ her daughter Melissa Rivers said in a written statement at the time.

Urban Myths airs tonight at 10pm on Sky Arts.

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