British author Elton Townend-Jones’ play, The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe, has been touring the UK since 2013, and the script was recently published by Samuel French. It makes its US debut this weekend, as a one-woman show starring Rosaletta Curry at the Chameleon Theatre in Port Townsend, Washington, reports PT Leader.
Tickets are $15 or $10 for students, available at the door or through brownpapertickets.com. But hurry – the final performance is tonight!
“Curry found the script quite by chance in a London bookshop. She sat down and read it all the way through, drawn to Monroe’s utter vulnerability and openness and humor and just blunt honesty in the play.
‘What’s really interesting is it’s a very surprising play. It surprised me when I first read it and I think it will surprise the audience,’ said Curry. ‘There are not that many solo plays written, and it’s hard to find one you can relate to.’
Luckily for Curry, 23, a recent graduate of Drama Centre London’s year-long program, the rights for the play were available for the U.S., and a visit home to Jefferson County provided the opportunity to produce the play.
The play takes place in Monroe’s bedroom, created in the intimate space of Chameleon Theater, which has just 32 seats.
‘It takes place the hour before her death,’ said Curry. ‘She basically revisits her whole life … The audience is very much a part of this show,’ explained Curry. ‘It’s very, very immersive. They don’t do anything, but they are very much a character. They’re present and she speaks to them directly throughout the play, and she’s aware of them throughout the play.’
‘Something I found incredibly useful was going directly to the source if I could, and there’s this incredible book called Fragments that just has her notes, her poems, her notes and photographs, and that’s all it has. So it’s her written journal and it doesn’t have anyone else’s ideas about what she was like. It’s just her talking about herself or her experiences on paper.
‘As an actor, that helped me connect with not only how she perceived herself but also just how she sees the world, her thought patterns. Just even the way she scrawled things upside down – and this connects with how a character sees the world.'”