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'Finishing the Picture' review or 'Is that your best angle?'

'Finishing the Picture', Arthur Miller
Finborough Theatre, 16th June 2018
Written for The Guardian 




When Arthur Miller’s final play premiered in America in 2004, Marilyn Monroe had been dead for more than 40 years. The couple’s fraught marriage had ended in 1961, yet Miller could not get Monroe out of his system. Finishing the Picture feels like an exorcism, a celebration, an apology and an inquest – it’s a patchy but powerful look at the dark forces that made Monroe such a vital but troubled personality.  The play is not so loosely based on the real-life drama that surrounded the filming of Monroe’s final completed picture, The Misfits, written by Miller. Their relationship was breaking down and her depression resurfacing. Months later, Monroe was found dead. The names have been changed but this is absolutely Miller’s Marilyn story. Finishing the Picture opens with filming five weeks overdue and the crew about to implode. The star of the show, Kitty, is refusing to get out of bed…

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