Birdy found herself once again back at the Voodoo Rooms, this time to see the legend Marilyn Monroe herself… kind of! And it was certainly a memorable evening.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from One Night with Marilyn but when I was very kindly invited along to Isabella Bliss‘s show, and how was a girl to say no? Well, this girl was very glad she didn’t!
What followed was a memorable, fun night with an incredible – and convincing – performance from Ms Bliss as Marilyn Monroe herself.
This is a one-woman show, with plenty of musical numbers, audience interactions and interesting/entertaining anecdotes.
Isabella doesn’t break out of character as Marilyn once throughout the show, boasting that she’s been specially flown out from the States to be here tonight – and it’s only at the end we learn she’s actually from Essex! Very well played.
Marilyn vibes – Marilyn vibes all round! If you’re a fan of Marilyn Monroe, you’ll know what I mean, and it left me with warm, fuzzy feelings. It went down well with the audience, too.
Isabella isn’t here in the ‘Burgh for long – her show runs from the 15th to the 27th with a day’s break in-between. I came on the second night, and she had a relatively decent crowd gathered in the Ballroom.
The performance itself
When arranging for me to come to the show, Isabella had told me it’d her first solo show at the Fringe, and that she was feeling nervous, but you wouldn’t know it from the strength of her performance.
This version of Marilyn absolutely commanded the room, with amazing stage presence, and such an air of confidence. There was the occasional technical glitch, but nothing huge, and she handled everything thrown at her with utmost professionalism.
I particularly enjoyed Isabella’s flawless singing performances as Marilyn (highlights for me were My Heart Belongs to Daddy, L.O.VE and Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend), but she also captured the voice, looks and Marilyn mannerisms so, so well.
However, it also became clear that this really is a heartfelt and genuine tribute from someone who has nothing but respect and admiration for the icon herself, and we got to learn various facts about Monroe throughout the show – including the fact she got paid significantly less than Jane Russell for her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and that despite being the blonde in the movie, had to fight to get her own dressing room!
There was quite a lot of audience participation – which was handled well by Isabella – with one gent in particular ending up in a dress and wig whilst Marilyn announced she was ‘going to blow him from beneath’ to recreate that famous scene! From my photo (below), I think he was enjoying himself.
Especially if you’re a Marilyn Monroe fan, don’t miss out on One Night with Marilyn; a heartfelt and sincere tribute from Isabella Bliss that keeps you entertained throughout. I had a great time at this show, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.