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« Day Two…“People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person’ – Marilyn Monroe | Main | The Life of ShadyJane: Ladies, Lavs and Literature »
Monday
Mar252013

Marilyn Gets Up Rehearsal Week: Day One

We’re up in York and back in the rehearsal room for an intensive week working on our upcoming show, Marilyn Gets Up. Having spent the last two years in the toilets making and touring Sailing On, it is a strange experience to be in a studio where we don’t have to ensure everything is waterproofed and battery powered.

We have already spent about three days working on the piece, experimenting with early ideas and getting a feel for the material and the kinds of things we want the piece to say. We picked the subject matter to contrast with some of our other work, less literary and much more mainstream, material that was right there in the public’s imagination to then start to toy with some of these mass representations of Marilyn.

We have now done two little scratch performances, one at our artistic home, The Point in Eastleigh and the second on Saturday night which was part of York Theatre Royals’s Takeover Festival, Imaginarium. As intimidating as it was to scratch work just a few days into our process, we have found it hugely useful to just throw something in front of an audience before we have to commit to the material too heavily. With such a well known and rich subject matter we have found both sublime and ridiculous results, which kind of echoes the representation of the commercialised image of Monroe as well as aspects of her life. 

This material we shared at Imaginarium looks at Marilyn ‘artefacts’, the items that transform her into that figure we recognise instantly.  The objects are discarded around the stage and then thrust into the spotlight, until they are eventually reclaimed to once again form the image of Monroe. We are experimenting with these objects to start to explore the fragile relationship she had with her own image and today we are using this as inspiration to understand the relationship we have with our own image; particularly the relationship we have with the word ‘sexy’ and the sex appeal that Marilyn represents.  We have been drawing from personal experience to create individual narratives that meander through Monroe’s own iconography.  From this we have been able to reflect the facets of our own personalities in the facets that make up Monroe’s image, or indeed the vast difference and distance we feel exist between her and us.

Today’s efforts have left us ‘Desperately Seeking Marilyn’s Hair’ (currently lost somewhere in Japan), trying to get better at undressing and feeling unconfident at expressing our confidence.

More tomorrow…

 

 

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