Of all the Hollywood Golden Age legends, Beth Burrows chose Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe to celebrate in her acclaimed one-woman cabaret Sirens of the Silver Screen. In our latest in our Featured Show series, she explains what she’s found most inspiring and surprising about each – and shares her favourite signature songs for all three.
Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe live again as Beth Burrows, directed by Mark Giesser, takes on each famous woman, performing their most loved songs and shedding light on the shadowy secrets that stalked their careers – this sisterhood of stunning starlets lit up the silver screen for decades and kept tongues wagging with their scandalous off-screen antics. Prepare to be transported to a world of Old Hollywood glamour, where fame, fate and misfortune collide in glitz, glamour and grim truths.
Sirens of the Silver Screen runs from 26 June to 14 July 2018 at the Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW, with Tuesday to Saturday evening performances at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £18 (concessions £15). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
On Judy Garland
What do you admire most? Her fierce spirit. I think Judy was a bit like a rescue dog – she had been so mistreated as a child by MGM studio (who got her hooked on drugs) and her stagey mother that she acted up later in life. She went through five husbands and the drug abuse got her in the end, but she never lost her sense of fight.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned? Many of her husbands were gay (or rumoured to be).
Favourite song of hers? ‘The Man That Got Away’. Judy went through five marriages in her life, so I feel like this one really tells her story!
On Audrey Hepburn
What do you admire most? Her generosity. Audrey devoted the latter part of her life to humanitarian work – she spent a lot of time in Africa with UNICEF. From everything I’ve read about people who knew and worked with her, I really do think Audrey was a bit of an angel on earth. I have such respect for her.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned? The reason Audrey was so thin is that she grew up in Holland during the Nazi occupation when food was incredibly scarce. It wasn’t that she spent her life dieting (she loved pasta!), her body simply never got used to having regular sustenance.
Favourite song of hers? ‘Moonriver’. It’s a classic, and one of the few songs in her career Audrey actually got to sing for herself.
On Marilyn Monroe
What do you admire most? Her business acumen. ‘Business’ is possibly the last word you’d associate with Marilyn, but she was incredibly skilled at sculpting the Monroe ‘brand’. The ditzy, doe-eyed sexpot was very much a persona that she put on. She was a sharp, intelligent woman – so intelligent that she knew it was better to play the dumb blonde.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned? Marilyn was a poet. When the voices got too loud inside her head she would pick up a pen and write. She wrote some really beautiful, poignant things.
Favourite song of hers? ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’. Just such fun – full of teasing and flirting. Marilyn once said ‘I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it’. This song sums that up!