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Norma | Hurlingham Club

This is not a show where audiences go in without any expectations. This is a show about one of the most iconic women of the 20th century. This is a show about a woman whose image has been manipulated and warped by the entertainment industry even decades after her death: Marilyn Monroe. This is a show that rejects the media's often false conceptions of Marilyn and creates space for a new angle to be told. Writer and Performer, Olivia Denton, must be commended for her bravery in not only telling a story about a woman so well-known and about whom everyone has an opinion, but for bringing much needed attention to the real woman behind the glamour: Norma Jean.

In all but 60 minutes, Denton’s powerful and touching script puts Norma’s authentic voice with all her humour, ambition, innocence and talent at the forefront, making her the hero of her own story. As she waltzes across the stage in a white bathrobe sipping champagne and dragging on cigarettes, Norma takes us into an intimate glimpse of her life, ranging with anecdotes from her childhood, her marriages, her ambitions, her struggles on set in Hollywood, and her hopes to begin a family. Denton is charismatic, delicate and charming in her portrayal, engaging the audience throughout. Denton’s voice and phrasing is excellent, with real detailed attention paid to Marilyn’s breathy and soft voice. Denton rises to the challenge with numbers including ‘Every Baby needs a Da-Da-Daddy’, ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ , ‘I wanna be Loved by You’, ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ and dazzles us as

much as the beautiful blue dress that she reveals for the songs.

The show is delicate in its portrayal of Marilyn and really emphasises how gentle her spirit really was. Denton’s ‘Norma’ gives space for the real Marilyn to shine and for her story to be heard, beyond the confines of media stereotype and cliches. Having been performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival prior to its run at the Hurlingham Club and Adventures in Theatreland looks forward to hearing where it flies to next!


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review


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