Writer: Vicki McKellar and Guy Masterson
Director: Guy Masterson
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
On the 5th of August 1962 at 10.35 Marilyn Monroe was found unconscious. Almost six hours later the police were finally called to the scene. Officially Monroe had killed herself, but if that was the case, why did it take so long for the call to be made, and what were the seven people in her house between those times talking about? The Marilyn Conspiracy provides some possible answers to those questions.
Set some hours after the initial discovery of her unconscious body, the play begins with exploring the ‘knowns’ of the situation. She was not dead when Eunice Murray, her housekeeper, found her. Medics tried to revive her until her psychiatrist Dr Greenson stopped them, deciding that her heart was too weak and giving her a shot of adrenaline as a last chance to save her life. Her body was subsequently moved from the guest room where she actually died to the bedroom where it was claimed she was discovered.
The implications of all of these actions and the reasons why the official story of how she died was inconsistent with the state of her body when she was found, then become the subject of the conversation as contradictions between the various versions of how each of the seven came to be at the house emerge and, Pat Newcomb, her press secretary and close friend, attempts to find out the truth.
Blame, counter blame and denial all come into play in the style of the concluding stages of an Agatha Christie mystery. All of the actors play their parts with the right degree of suspicion and possible culpability and there are enough early red herrings to open up various possibilities before the ‘truth’ is revealed and the cover up is agreed upon.
For conspiracy theorists, the explanation for her death, and the reason why the truth never emerged, will be as important as the answer to the question of who actually killed her, but for others, the play will simply be offering one explanation, no more or less likely than any of the others that have been doing the rounds for years.
It’s entertaining, well scripted and well argued, but don’t expect to be convinced that a mystery has finally been solved.
Runs until 27 August 2018 | Image: Contributed