Sunday, July 21

The Marilyn Conspiracy – Park Theatre

Who did it? What caused it? “The Marilyn Conspiracy” is a thought-provoking play that invites the audience to ponder the events leading up to Marilyn Monroe’s death. From the outset, it is clear that extensive research went into creating this magnificent play, which takes you on a journey of what could have happened and the reasons behind it.

The play immediately introduces important historical characters who were “friends” of Monroe and perhaps involved in covering up something more sinister. Genevieve Gaunt embodies Monroe, showcasing the strong emotions that Marilyn was feeling on the day she died. Was she depressed, drunk, lonely or perhaps all three? The show highlights these emotions whilst allowing you to draw your own conclusions about what happened that night.

The set initially appears minimal, with the cast surrounding a square centre stage. Yet, the first scene opens with Monroe on a sofa, and the set spirals around, immersing viewers in the production. Even when one could only see the back of a character at some point, the slow spiral of the stage ensured everyone remained visible at all times, and really highlighted the effect that everyone played a part in the death of Monroe. 

The lighting was powerful, effectively transitioning between scenes and time periods. One particularly memorable element was the darkness between scenes, with the smoke of the set and small lights casting the shadow of Marilyn Monroe walking to and from the stage.

During the changing of the scenes, background radio voice clips highlighted the news of the time and current events, providing additional context and helping to immerse the audience in the era surrounding Monroe’s death.

Another notable aspect of the play was its exceptional pacing and structure. The narrative seamlessly wove between the events before Monroe’s death as well as the events that were happening immediately after whilst skilfully maintaining suspense and intrigue throughout.

Overall, while the show may not be historically accurate, it is aptly titled “The Marilyn Conspiracy.” The production provides insight into some true storylines and characters that Monroe knew and trusted. Even as a conspiracy, the show offers facts and details about Marilyn, shedding light on the events surrounding her death and the political figures she associated with in an entertaining way. 

The production leaves us questioning whether the events portrayed actually happened—are they true? We may never know, but it’s an impeccable production that allows you to draw your own judgment about what happened that evening.

Reviewer: Zain Russell

Reviewed: 27th June 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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