St James Studio worships Icons of stage and screen

Lizzie Wort in The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe. Photo Ben Guest.
Lizzie Wort in The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe. Photo Ben Guest.

The idea of ‘The person behind the icon’ will be explored in a series of plays and events collectively called the Icons Season, taking place between January 3-25 in the St. James Studio.

Five plays will be presented, each with an accompanying film that will be screened once during the run.

The subjects of the plays will be Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Richard Burton, Dylan Thomas, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich.

In addition to the film screenings, a number of post-show events will be held

The season kicks off with Bette & Joan: The Final Curtain which will include a screening of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane on January 4.

The show is devised and performed by Sarah Thom and Sarah Toogood with a script written by James Greaves.

Now on her own deathbed, Davis is forced by Hollywood hacks Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons to confront the ghost of her nemesis, Crawford herself.

And of course, just because someone’s dead doesn’t mean they’ve changed…

It is a wry, feisty and irreverent look at two of Hollywood’s greatest icons and their equally famous feud.

Rhodri Miles in Burton.

Game Of Thrones’ Rhodri Miles turns up as two Welsh hell-raisers, actor Richard Burton and writer Dylan Thomas. .

Burton alternates with Dylan Thomas: Clown in the Moon. A screening of Under Milk Wood is on January 15.

Burton, fresh from a second critically acclaimed run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014, vividly presents the life of the great Welsh actor in his own words from humble beginnings to Hollywood mega-stardom.

Clown in the Moon is a dramatic portrait of the poet’s chaotic, frequently hilarious, and all too brief life.

Located in a BBC studio, it sets some of Dylan’s famous broadcasts and iconic works alongside vivid reminiscences of his clownish antics in pubs, bars and parties, and his encounters with a host of eccentric and volatile women.

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe features a screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and sees Lizzie Wort in the title role.

Monroe as we’ve never seen her before: alone in her bedroom, in dressing gown and slippers; no glitz, no glamour, no masks.

Overdosed on pills, the woman behind the icon unravels her remarkable life and bares all, revealing a biting intelligence, a frustrated talent and an imperfect body.


The season ends with Miss Dietrich Regrets and a screening of Morocco on January 24.

The play, by Gail Louw, is performed by Elizabeth Counsell (Blonde Poison, Brushstrokes) and Moira Brooker (As Time Goes By).

Miss Dietrich Regrets is a revealing and poignant new look at the aging Marlene, alone in a Paris apartment, battling with her daughter to retain her independence to the very end.

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