SIRENS OF THE SILVER SCREEN – CREATED AND PERFORMED BY BETH BURROWS
Upstairs at the Gatehouse – until 18th November. Reviewed by Jess Brady
Beth Burrows presents her one woman show telling the poignant stories of the three most iconic woman of the last century, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. These women were and still remain the epitome of what old school Hollywood glamour represented as they captured the hearts and minds of millions with their beauty, talent, charisma and sadly their turbulent lives.
Burrows appears on stage after a projection flashing archetypal moments of footage that the sirens are best known for which is a lovely touch and begins the show with the infamous song that set Judy Garland on her path to stardom ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ from the 1939 classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in full Dorothy attire and a charming yellow brick road. This is then followed by Burrows giving the audience an account of Judy’s life including her drug abuse and the abuse she suffered at the hands of MGM along with intermittent moments of action as Judy herself with further projections of Garland and a costume change into her more formative years.
This style of presentation for each Siren is the general premise for the production as a whole. Burrows does give us a more human account of what happened to these women and seems to have a wonderful talent of empathising in her retelling of their lives as well as serenading us with some well recognised tunes made famous by the women with a fantastic singing voice! Despite the use of Marilyn, Audrey and Judy not being an original idea for a show, Burrows does a wonderful job of getting to the core of what made these three women alike in many ways aside from their fame and beauty.
The set is charming and resembles that of a 1950’s dressing room equipped with a chez longue, wardrobe (which the projections are displayed on), a back stage dressing table and an onstage musical duo including keys and trumpet played expertly by Bobbie Goulder and double bass played by Doug Grannell who accompany Burrows in her musical interludes.
The direction by Mark Geisser and musical direction by Bobbie Goulder are fitting and considerate to the piece and really gives Burrows a chance to use the full length of the set and content of the show to her advantage making this production a fitting tribute to the three sirens. Burrows has created a piece full of personality and humour that displays her obvious love for the era and the women she has chosen to tell the stories of. Anyone who is a fan of that era of Hollywood will enjoy this creative show and will leave feeling like they know the real truths of three sirens that took the world by storm.