Marilyn: Review

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Marilyn Monroe, did we really know who she was? Did she?

This playful and poignant play is Marilyn’s story, told by her, alone in her dressing room.

She is not the girl in the flowy white dress with the pouting red lips but Marilyn stripped back and bare – just an ordinary girl telling her story.

This one-woman show follows the dark and thrill-filled life of the iconic Marilyn Monroe.

She was a woman everyone thought they knew, but this honest and intimate show exposes the secrets behind all of her masks.

It quickly became clear that Norma Jeane Baker and Marilyn Monroe were two very separate people, and not many knew the real her.

The play began with Marilyn talking about her death, before taking us back to the start and detailing the highs and lows of living in the spotlight.

We hear about her three failed marriages, the childhood that left her damaged, and the painful loss of losing a baby she so desperately longed for.

The set was a cosy intimate reproduction of a dressing room, and it is here that Monroe announces she is in ‘Limbo’ waiting to get to heaven.

Alcohol was a heavily relied on prop throughout the show, and cocktail parties were mentioned often, referencing to her reliance on alcohol throughout her life.

The use of dramatic lighting shifted from scene to scene, the sudden shifts from bright to dim lighting drew attention to the striking separation between the act and the person.

Despite it being a one-woman show, the use of video and audio clips made the show come to life and gave us a better insight into the people in her life.

Overall, the show tells us everything we needed to know to see the real Marilyn Monroe, not just a pretty face and sex symbol, but an intelligent and ambitious woman who fought a constant battle to keep up her facade.

To end the show and symbolise her death, Marilyn puts on her coat and hat and leaves the dressing room, as if she is finally leaving Limbo and making the transgression to heaven after telling her true story.

Marilyn from Breakthrough Theatre was reviewed at Stafford Gatehouse on 5 April 2019.

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