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Marilyn Monroe Airlines: Always Late and Unreliable by Leonor Bethencourt.

Smock Alley Theatre, 7 Lower Exchange Street, County Dublin. To 8 September. Then touring to The Savoy Limerick, September 27th & 28th (Further tour dates to be announced.)
Full info: www.zocorro.com.
8 pm. Runs 50 mins, no interval.
Tickets: 00 3531 677 0014 www.smockalley.com

Review: Michael Paye 8 September 2012.

Some funny moments, but lacks cohesion


With the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, actor-writer Leonor Bethencourt has created a show as homage to the late star’s legendary tardiness, as Zocorro, the air hostess working for Marilyn Monroe Airlines. Though it is a concept which is full of potential, this performance piece never really leaves the ground.

The show starts with genuine promise, as Zocorro calls everyone in the lobby to board the flight, then struts into the theatre space, as we follow on. After the audience has settled in their seats, Zocorro appears above, with a large pink suitcase. Complete with musical fanfare, she strolls down several levels to the stage, dressed in a bright pink polka dot dress complete with frills. Unfortunately, as the performance continues, problems in script and humour become glaringly obvious, and what starts as something strange, charming and engaging degenerates into a myriad of bit-part gags.

Zocorro is a Spanish air hostess with minor issues with the English language, which result in comments such as “how is going”, which is moderately humorous, but becomes tiresome very quickly. Furthermore, frequent phone calls from her boyfriend, who we subsequently find out is Enda Kenny, garner a few laughs from the audience. However, by picking every hot button topic of the moment, such as Ryanair’s contemptuous stance as the no frills airline, Ireland’s economic crisis, and Enda Kenny’s futile role as Taoiseach, the entire performance seems a little forced, a mishmash of social problems rather than a hilarious criticism of them.

Despite these issues, Leonor Bethencourt’s obvious talent as an actress does come out, as she manages to entertain despite the problems with the script. On the level of performance, her self-confidence, lack of inhibition and comic timing demonstrate her talent. However, even with these slight perks, Marilyn Monroe Airlines never quite manages to take off.

Zocorro: Leonor Bethencourt.
 
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