By Ken Cameron
Directed and designed by Robin A. Paterson
The Bridge Theatre Company (/www.thebridgetheatrecompany.com)
Equity showcase (closed)
Review by Byrne Harrison
being a lonely 15-year-old boy and being offered the chance to meet Marilyn
Monroe. Now imagine becoming her friend. And later, her lover. Is there
anything you wouldn’t do for her? Any promise you wouldn’t make?
Cameron’s Making Marilyn is built around the aforementioned premise.
Costello) is a lonely boy living with his Mom (Ashlie Atkinson) and
longing in his adolescent way for Marilyn Monroe (also played by Atkinson).
When Monroe comes to Banff to film River of No Return, a chance
encounter with Scout leads to an affair. Unlike in a typical memory play, Scout
not only jumps between his summer with Marilyn, a traumatic moment from his
childhood, and his encounter with a Policeman (Robin Mervin) on a lonely California
highway right after Marilyn’s death, but he leaps, like Vonnegut’s Billy
Pilgrim, into those times, not merely remembering them. Scout takes his
knowledge of future events with him as he attempts to save Marilyn from her
fate, even though he seems doomed to repeat each moment as well.
Atkinson was certainly the star of this show; she demanded attention and not
just because of her curvy appeal.. Both as Marilyn and Mom, she radiated a
certain cunning charm; both women knew how to use their bodies to get what they
wanted and needed out of life. While Marilyn was less rough than Mom and
certainly less world-weary, it was easy to see that they were younger and older
versions of each other.
as played by Costello, was a typical teen: sulky, shy, angry, eager, confused,
certain, and above all loyal. Driven by love, he was willing to do anything for
Marilyn, his one and only. Costello captured Scout’s innocence and creepy
obsessiveness. His awkward mannerisms while playing 15-year-old Scout, rubbing
his pants, twitching his head and shifting his gaze, gave him a certain goofy
charm, but losing these affectations while playing the 22-year-old Scout gave
Scout’s interactions with the Policeman a menacing quality that paid off at the
end of the scene.
the play and the acting were good, the long, narrow space made the staging of
the show awkward, though director Robin Paterson utilized the space to great
effect. The set pieces, free-standing and rotating flats that were moved into
place by the actors, were a distraction. Also distracting was having the actors
onstage when the house opened. While it helped establish a mood, it also kept
people from getting to half of the seating until one side of the house filled
completely, forcing people to cross the stage to find seats.
some of the dialog was a little stilted, and a few of the scenes seemed to be
too long or not integral to the plot, this was a strong production of a
challenging piece of theatre.
Making Marilyn also featured Devin Scott and Reyna De Courcy.
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Copyright 2005 Byrne Harrison