Threshold Theatre, Candles in the Wind

Review in Issue 9-4 | Winter 1997

Candles in the Wind offers far more than a retelling of Marilyn Monroe’s eventful life. It addresses wider issues and provides an exhilarating mental workout. Directed by Carran Waterfield and devised and performed by Threshold Theatre, the company’s debut production is a polished and challenging piece of experimental physical theatre.

The play combines powerful and dramatic visual imagery along with an effective soundtrack to illustrate Monroe’s struggles, focusing on the pressures exerted upon her by her upbringing, marriages and career. The performance communicates more by visual and physical means than by dialogue and thus allows very personal and varied interpretations for the audience. Marilyn, the blonde icon, remains serene and inimitable throughout, whilst the alter-ego Norma Jeane is a vehicle which symbolises the problems of 20th Century women.

Five performers each take various roles and aspects of Marilyn’s character, including the child, the icon and the wannabe. In the compelling final death scene the icon is again the centre of attraction, as Norma Jeane is laid to rest, finally achieving peace after her turbulent life. The use of Marilyn’s previous Hollywood pedestal as her coffin is a powerful symbol of the link between Tinseltown pressure and her untimely death. The performers coordinate well, bombarding the audience from all sides with sight and sound, appealing to those particularly interested in the legend, as well as the merely curious.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-4
p. 24 - 25