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Review: Theatre

Wake Me In The Morning

Wake Me In The Morning

Oran Mor, Glasgow

Some things never get resolved with a certainty that stymies conspiracy theorists. Marilyn Monroe's death in August 1962 remains one of those debatable affairs. Did she commit suicide? Take an accidental overdose? Or did covert interference by some of the President's men silence her indiscretions with a mix of pills and bourbon?

Some 50 years on, we're not necessarily closer to an unassailable truth - but why does the untimely death of a 1950s screen icon so compel folk (and writers, especially) to pick over the bones of her final days?

In Jeremy Raison's three-hander, set amid the crumpled satin sheets of the Blonde's bedroom, the appeal seem to lie in the headlong collision between the public and private lives of two famous Americans who, for security reasons, don't really exist. Or at any rate can't be named.

Hence Monroe (Kirsty McDuff) is just the generic Blonde and her lover - well he cuts up rough when she keeps referring to him as Mr President. The Play, Pie and Pint programme lists him as Bull, and indeed his wham-bam! attitude to sex seems to justify the tag. But in Raison's imagination - and this is essentially fiction - Bill Wright's sharp-suited Kennedy appears willing to risk scandal for Monroe, until her craving for affection renders her a fragile, demanding, boozed-up loose cannon.

Well-focused performances from the cast - Ewan Donald is the fix-it brother in Kennedy's shadow - inject vitality into lines that (perhaps intentionally?) sound like out-takes from Monroe's screen roles. But the mystery isn't how she died - I'm keeping schtum - but why Raison wanted to turn conjecture into a Dallas-cum-Dynasty episode.

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