Review: The Late Marilyn Monroe, Swansea Grand Theatre

The Late Marilyn Monroe; 
Swansea Grand Theatre
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pill-popping and paranoid, the final days of Marilyn Monroe were a far cry from the public persona perceived by many at the time.

And in The Late Marilyn Monroe, a new play by Francis Hardy, the Hollywood legend’s highs and lows, warts and all, are dramatically recounted in a compelling tale of ruthless ambition and the perils of success.

An intense monologue performed superbly by Jessica Sandry as the titular bombshell, the play starts at the end with a reanimated Marilyn, clad in a suitably unsubtle red dressing gown, rising from her final resting place to address the audience.

Surrounded by empty alcohol bottles, her journey, at times funny but just as often downright wretched, takes in her early acting career, her countless affairs, her encounters with the rich and famous, and her eventual decline into a life of drugs and delusions.

JFK, described as the perfect man, is singled is out for particular attention throughout — and yes — there’s a complete, sultry performance of her final performance, the bappy Birthday song at his 45th birthday.

Finely directed by Fluellen Theatre Company’s Peter Richards, like an impassioned history lesson, The Late Marilyn Monroe is a fascinating insight into the life of a tragic icon.

Mark Rees

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Comment by Kerry William Mills on May 21, 2013 at 18:16

It was fantastic Jessica didn't just play Monroe she was Monroe. It's a facinating look at the film icon and goes to show even icons suffer human tragedy a must see excellent one woman show. 5/5

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