The phrase ‘world premiere’ often instils a fear of an impending mediocrity. However the recent world premiere of Good-bye Miss Monroe, written and directed by Liam de Burca, easily makes good on the promise and is sure to win audiences around the globe.
When Marilyn Monroe was found dead under mysterious circumstances in 1962, the innocence of Hollywood’s golden era was stolen and her peers fell by the wayside or fell apart. Enter Jack Cole, “father of Jazz” and dance instructor to the stars, the uncredited creator of Marilyn Monroe. Cole watches his own star fizzle out when ‘Baby Doll’ is lost and he must farewell his ingenue and lay to rest fears about a missed phone call and a deleted message. Many around Monroe must have wondered if they could have changed her fate.
Mainly through monologue, we become intimately acquainted with Cole as he reminisces about his time with the glamour pusses of Hollywood and all the great iconic women that he had successfully imagined, among them Monroe, Hayworth, Grable, and Verdon; they each materialises to support his tales. Anna Burgess, an image of divinity, embodies each of these famous females to perfection; her Monroe is just a darling and Grable is nothing short of brilliant. Burgess gifts the audience with moments of genuine delighted laughter as she slips into a new wig and slides into a new accent, sublimely resurrecting the glitz of the golden age. Matt Young is strong and believable as Cole; a few moments of well-managed line fluffs occasionally interrupted the flow, but considering this show has only been in rehearsal for two weeks and Cole delivers the majority of the seventy-odd minutes of text, Young’s performance was impressive.
“Goodbye Miss Monroe” is a show you float away from, romanced by a moment in time that would never live again but for the imaginations of such talented artists”
At the end of the premiere de Burca revealed that the small production budget had been raised through crowd funding source Pozible and the passion that de Burca has for Cole and his story is there for all to see. The opening night audience made up of his enthusiastic supporters were visibly awed by the result of their investment and it’s wonderful to see the community get behind independent theatre, and even more so to watch the pay back.
Goodbye Miss Monroe is a show you float away from, romanced by a moment in time that would never live again but for the imaginations of such talented artists. There will only ever be one Monroe but there are generations of people who’ve been touched by her.
Goodbye Miss Munroe will be playing at the Metro Arts Studio till 22nd March.