I am conspiracy theory-obsessed and one of my favorites is Marilyn Monroe. I love anything about her, both her life and death. I was looking a few months ago at some recommendations on what to book at the Fringe and saw the Marilyn Conspiracy, which was billed to explore the various conspiracy theories surrounding Marilyns Sudden Death.
The show is on at a bit of an awkward time, 13.45 in the afternoon. So I had to go solo to it which was fine, but also I was by far the youngest in the room. The show is based on the 6 hours that followed between Marilyn’s death and when the 911 call was made. It imagines what conversations would have been happening between 7 main characters:
- Pat Newcomb (Susie Amy); Marilyns PA
- Peter Newcomb (Oliver Farnworth); actor, married to Patricia Kennedy
- Patricia Kennedy (Vicki McKellar); John and Bobby Kennedy’s Sister
- Eunice Murray(Sally Mortemore); Marilyn’s Housekeeper
- Dr. Greenson (Gavin Robertson); Marilyns Pyscharist
- Mrs. Greenson (Angela Bull); Dr. Greensons Wife
- Dr. Engelberg (Martin Rossen); Marilyns medical doctor
The show is written by Vicki McKellar and directed by Guy Masterton, who is a Fringe veteran. It has been 4 years in making and had several rewrites and redrafts. There are some really strong actors in the show, most notably Susie Amy, who you may recognize as Chardonnay from Footballers Wives – which was a classic show! I am sure she loves the fact she is known as the woman who’s boobs went on fire on a trashy ITV soap.
I think my overall review would be that the premise of the show was good and the actors were impressive but I couldn’t help but think the show plateaued a little. It was an interesting take on the many conspiracy theories and brought some of the possibilities of what really happened together, but only scratched the surface of many of the theories. Admittedly, I did feel myself clock-watching towards the end of the show, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it.
Of course, this was only the second performance of the show and these are still previews. I think there is definitely something there worth watching. It’s enjoyable enough but maybe not enough for hardcore conspiracy theorists like me, maybe more for an introduction for newbies.
The Marilyn Conspiracy is on at 13.45, Assembly George Square, Studio One.