Saturday, 28 July 2018

Marilyn Dramaturgy: Guy Masterson @ Edfringe 2018

Guy Masterson – Theatre Tours international

The Marilyn Conspiracy
Assembly George Square – Studio One
August 2 – 27 (not 13th) 1.45pm

Guy Masterson presents the WORLD PREMIERE of an explosive new drama about the controversy surrounding the untimely demise of Marilyn Monroe in August 1962.

It is on the record as “Probable Suicide” and that is the outcome many still believe, but having charted a course through all that has ever been written and said about it, co-writers Vicki McKellar and Guy Masterson think very differently, and, after seeing this play, the audience may too.

There were 7 people present with Marilyn’s body after she was found at 10.35pm on August 4th, until her death was reported to police at 4.30am on the 5th. What did they talk about?

In the style of Masterson’s legendary 2003 production of 12 Angry Men, all the facts are put forward, myths debunked and lies exposed. Was it suicide? Or something more sinister. Was it the mafia, the CIA or even Bobby Kennedy...

 “Marilyn has an enduring fascination, and the truth behind her tragic demise is even more shocking when looked at afresh and with the obvious modern parallels with sexual exploitation and abuse of executive power. The day before she died, she threatened “to call a press conference and blow the lid off the whole darned thing!” Had she lived, who knows, Marilyn could have kicked off the #MeToo movement 56 years ago!... But theatre doesn’t always have to have modern resonances... it is allowed to be purely thrilling... and that’s what “The Marilyn Conspiracy” does. It thrills.” - Guy Masterson

This world premiere is part of Guy Masterson’s 25th Edinburgh season.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

My co-writer’s belief that Marilyn did not kill herself and her absorption into all the facts and the fiction surrounding her apparent suicide. She believed there was an untold story that would work on the stage. And I agreed with her.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

Absolutely. Theatre is a democratic art form where the audience get to participate. Good theatre stimulates discussion and questions morality. It is still a place to challenge the status quo.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I fell in love with the power of storytelling and the way it can take people to places they otherwise would not go. It can enlighten and challenge and I particularly like its directness. When it’s done well, it can be very challenging.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

Honestly. It’s always honesty.Theatre is always artificial in a real sense, but if the actors are honest in their approach to telling the story, the audience will go along with the artifice and suspend their disbelief. Honesty and commitment to the truth of what is happening on stage is the only way to create this.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Certainly. It is a challenging, emotional and emotive piece of work. Marilyn was and is an icon to whom the general public have assigned an enduring affection. A story that highlights disrespect to her will always be emotive. But it is also thrilling and I love my work to be thrilling.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

A rollercoaster of enthrallment! I want them to be glued to their seats and hanging on to every word. At the end of it, I want them to make up their own minds as to what happened.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

My strategy is always about engagement through truth and commitment. If the actors believe. If they are committed, the audience will be too.

Venue:  Assembly Festival, George Square, Studio One
Time:  13:45  Running Time: 80mins
Dates: 02 – 27 August. Previews 2-3 August. No show Mon 13 August.
Tickets: Previews £12; 8-9, 14-16, 20-23, 27 August £15 (£13); 4-7, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26 August  £18 (£14)

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