Golfing… again

After dusting down the golf sticks, cleaning up the golf shoes and finding my glove, I’m back.

Well when I say ‘back’, I mean I’m attempting again to learn golf.  A friend’s girlfriend has decided to learn at the course across the road from me and I’ve joined her for beginner lessons.

So we’ve finished the series of 4 beginner lessons and are now on our way to an ‘improver’ course which starts in a few weeks.  I was actually surprised how much I remembered and am still able to hit the ball – and for it to be roughly where I was aiming for it to go!  I’m loving it.

Another local friend has also joined the golfing revolution and is taking the beginners course now with the hope of finishing that course and joining us on the improver course.  Hehehe soon there will the three novice golfers out on the course!  Watch out world.

Learning Taxidermy

I’ll start with a warning… this post isn’t for the squeamish!

Some of you know what I did a few weekends ago.  Many of you don’t.  But all of you know that ‘The Wallace’ is always up for new adventures and trying new things!

So what did The Wallace do today? I learnt how to taxidermy a mole! Mr Mole is currently ‘setting’ and shall be introduced to you later!

Our taxidermy course, run by A Curious Invitiation, was held in a special location in Soho. Sebastian Horsley’s old flat. Despite Sebastian dying in 2010, the flat is still much the same as when he was there and still filled with his possessions, including his shampoo and half used nail polish in the bathroom cupboard!

I love this description of his flat “His flat was one of those perfect places – a tight, wooden space that oozed a sparse, bohemian danger. There was the rack of skulls on the wall, which added to that air of living on the edge.”

I understand he was a man who had three muses, all called Rachel and all were Page 3 models! Also a fan of prostitutes (and one himself for a while) he was quoted as saying “The air used to be clean and the sex used to be dirty. Now it is the other way around. Soho has lost its heart.”

So here’s the sign that used to be on the front door of his Soho flat and also the selection of human skulls!

IMG_8304 IMG_8332So that’s the bit even the squeamish can read and see.  Look away NOW if you’ve got this far but not really sure why!

A friend of mine loves taxidermy pieces.  I’ve never been quite sure about them but his house is full of different animals from around the world in different sizes and poses!  Odd but perhaps not as odd when you hear he’s a medic!

A while ago he asked me if I’d like to join him on a taxidermy course.  I of course said “No”  “Ewww” and such noises that were a definitely ‘you’re having a laugh’ kind of way of saying definitely not! Then he called me again to say he’d found a course and just before he books it, did I want to join him.  Ha, he knows I’m a “Yes girl” really!  I’m in, booked and going before I can think more about it.

Today was the day and I have to say I was more than a little nervous.  Not about the course particularly but more that I wasn’t sure how I’d cope and if I’d throw up!  We met early and when into Soho to do some shopping and have lunch.  I now know he was more nervous about it than I!  Both concerned that we’d best line our stomachs for an up-chunder but concerned that we didn’t want to be too full, just in case.

We nervously rang the buzzer and went up to the flat.  Greeted by a table set up for 4 novice taxidermists and a teacher with 4 shiny moles and a rat looking back at us.

During the day we chatted about life, the universe and, of course, preserving animals.  I was surprised that the teacher was a vegetarian and stressed that the reason she did taxidermy was that she wanted to preserve the animals for ever and to make them once again look beautiful.  Oddly hearing this put me at ease with what I was currently doing!

The process was actually fairly simple, not smelly and surprisingly not gross.  If you do it correctly you can cut down the mole’s tummy (carefully not removing fur) and then by gently peeling it back can remove the entire body sack of organs without anything spilling or oozing out!  I had one tiny rip but managed to contain the ‘flow’.  Biggest surprise for me was the size of Moley’s tongue (second row, third picture)!

Once the body sack had been removed, we then removed the back of the brain and the upper parts of the limbs.  Leaving the hands and feet loosely hanging on a very soft skin.

Moley then went for a bath, wash and blowdry and left to air for a short while.  Following this we carefully applied preserving liquid and borax powder.

Taxidermy 1The next step was stuffing the little chap and wiring his now saggy body.  We places wires into the arms and legs and through the hands and feet.  We then wrapped another wire with cotton wool and wrapped that in yarn – this should be the size of the body cavity.  Tying carefully the ‘limb’ wire to the body wool and then packing the remaining cavity carefully with more cotton wool.

Then a touch of sewing to stitch Moley’s tummy up.  A little squeezing to ensure the cotton wool is packed in all the right places so he looks beautiful again.

Taxidermy 2Home with moley.  He still had protruding metal from each hand and foot and was a little dusty with the borax powder.  You position the taxidermy mole in the way you want him to ‘set’ and leave to dry for approximately 5 days.

Once set, you clip off the wire and give him a brush carefully with a toothbrush (preferably not one you’ll be using again!).

And meet Mr Moley… yes I did make him some specs as he wanted to see who was visiting him!

Taxidermy 3Despite my initial reservations about doing any sort of taxidermy, I really enjoyed the day.  Mr Moley looks fabulous, his shiny coat and plump little body give the impression he could still be alive!

It’s not something that I feel I need to do again….  but then never say never again!

Decoupage reindeer heads with Kaffe Fassett material

As you know I fell in love with the material of Kaffe Fassett at the Handmade Fair.

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What I probably haven’t confessed to is that I’ve been purchasing small pieces of his material with a little project in mind.  Although I did confess to the project in my Affordable Art Fair post.

Finally all the pieces have come together.  I first practiced with a heart.

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Then I sourced the papier mache heads, glue and together with the pieces of material and YouTube, I’ve been busy decoupaging.  How fabulous is this method of crafting.  For the most part everyone said to use paper and looked at me very oddly when I suggested material.  So I wasn’t quite sure what would happen if I used material.  In fact I suspect it’s easier as it stretches beautifully around corners and edges.

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This fine fellow looks amazing on my living room wall.

But I felt he needed a girlfriend….

IMG_8288 IMG_8290Great fun making them and easy to do.  Perfect crafting with small people or to make something colourful and fun for yourself.

Update on my glass making

I’d best first tell you about my disasters of last Saturday.  Having spent an age crafting, cutting, shaping, etching the wax model.

The next step is to create a plaster mold.  No mean feat for a small object but something of this size it’s a huge task.  I found the right plastic edging and clipped it together, using clay, I set the plastic edging to the board and hoped it’d take the weight of the massive amount of liquid plaster and flint.  And it probably would have done absolutely fine had I not heard someone suggest I move the clip out of the way.  Quick as a flash I did and quicker than I could imagine the plastic edging slipped closely followed by a fair bit of the 8 litres of liquid plaster!

IMG_8204Thank heavens for sensible people in the room who quickly were able to stem the flow and save the day.  What an idiot I am.  All week I’ve had nightmares about it and honestly I have no idea if the plaster mold has really worked at this point.

But the glass must go on.  The next step was steaming out the wax from the plaster mold.  It’s a little Heath Robinson but it works (top right).  As there are some very thin pieces of wax, I steamed it for quite some time to get right up into the plaster mold.

IMG_8257Today’s step was to finish steaming out the wax.  Then select the glass (Gaffer) and, in my case, liquid enamel.  Clean each piece of glass and then position the pieces with the enamel into the mold for firing.  Fingers crossed, one more time, that the firing goes well.

Another small piece that I started last week and finished this week was a small ‘wonky’ bowl with some small hearts and a ribbon stand.  Below is a picture of the wax mold and then after the firing whilst it was still in the plaster mold.

IMG_8255A fair bit of cold working on the saw to remove the base, lathe, flatbed, hand lapping and engraving inside and out.

IMG_8256I’m quite pleased with how it’s worked out.  It’ll be a beautiful birthday present for someone special very soon.

I also was able to fuse some pieces of glass that I cut a couple of years ago, following my course with David Mitchell.  It was fired first flat (fusing) and then fired again this week in a slump.  I’ve learned more in that I need to be more careful when using ‘batt wash’.  Batt wash is used over ceramic molds before firing and needs to be approximately 7 layers, straight across, diagonally, and again.  What I learned was that I should made each layer thinner and with more care… there’s a few small blobs on this piece because of it!

IMG_8252IMG_0205Here’s the finished article.

More glass (without the bubbles please)…

Following my two day 1:1 studio course I did in 2013 with the wonderful artist David Mitchell in Cambridge I have been super keen to continue working with glass.  As Cambridge isn’t exactly next door, I needed to find a college, studio or individual that would help me learn more, guide me (a little bit) and help me fire and coldwork pieces in their kiln and studio.  Of course I was happy to pay but I couldn’t find anyone or anywhere!  Many many hours of searching, stalking artists, posting on art forums and generally making a nuisance of myself and two year’s later, I found somewhere that I can go to make more glass ‘stuff’.  I didn’t exactly sit and wait for it though.  I invested in some glass, glass cutting boards, goggles and cutters and practiced cutting pieces of glass in my shed.

It has been a frustrating two years and I thought I’d end up with a shed full of cut pieces of glass and yet nothing finished…

.. until now!

Richmond Adult Community College have added a new art wing to their College in Richmond.  They were apparently previously in a Nissan hut in Twickenham but clearly at that time without much awareness about publicising their classes as I didn’t find them in my many many page searches of Google!

So I’ve signed up to three courses and already started two of them.

Cast a Glass Vessel (short course) – Learn how to make a model in wax to be cast in glass
•    To create a refractory mould for glass casting
•    Using wax to creating textures and patterns
•    You will gain basic techniques in finishing your cast glass

This is a piece that I’ve made so far.

Wax mould

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IMG_8094IMG_8093I quite love the way it is “just a vessel”.  It doesn’t have a purpose nor does it stand up or be level (deliberately!).  I adore the mottling of purples with a slight hint of blue within.  It’s far from perfect but I did it!  I think it’s done but I may just put a hole in the bottom and fit it with a small light…  I’m thinking about it.

Next up is a larger vessel that I’ve already created in wax and have a couple of weeks to finish the carving, then cast it in plaster and then into glass.  I’ve several ideas floating around in my head for a design and I’m excited to see what I finally decide to do.

Studio Glass (16 week course) – A practical introduction to kiln formed studio glass, covering the ancient techniques of fusing, slumping, open-mould and lost wax casting. You will be set short projects and encouraged to adopt an experimental approach. You will be taught through demonstration, group and individual instruction and you will learn from hands on experience. You will discover the potential of the medium through looking at both contemporary and historical works

The story so far:

IMG_8154Top left – practice cuts in glass to get circles, straight lines and shapes.
Top right – after first firing to fuse the glass together
Bottom – We created ‘cut-out’ shapes and prepared them for a ‘drop’ in the next firing.  This picture was taken as we ‘collectively’ chose it was time to stop the firing process and cool down the kiln pieces.  Hopefully we stopped it in time so that none of the pieces continued for the glass to melt and drop further.  Also it’s quite an art (thank heavens for Sally, our technician) to bring the glass down in temperature in such a way that it doesn’t crack.  Next week we’ll see the pieces out of the kiln and having returned to their final colour.  Fingers crossed.  I think I’d like to finish my piece by finishing off the edges and then mounting it onto a melted glass piece stand.  We’ll see!

Glass Casting (short course) – A practical and intense introduction to casting glass using the lost wax and open casting process. You will be taught how to model wax, make refractory moulds and prepare your glass for casting in the kiln. You will be set a short project and encouraged to adopt an experimental approach. You will be taught through demonstration, group and individual instruction and you will learn from hands on experience. You will discover the potential of the medium through looking at both contemporary and historical works.

Not started yet!

I’m so enjoying working with glass.  Once again I realise that I can be totally absorbed by this medium.  It’s unpredictability as to how it will fuse, slump or drop gives me a sense of excitement and thrill as to what it will become when the pieces I’ve chosen and placed take on a new form.  Honestly I can’t believe how quickly each class session flies by.

 

Hospital – Dermatology

Today is my appointment at the hospital with the dermatology consultant.  The appointment, by the time we got to this point, actually came through remarkably quickly.  I’m terrifically thankful for the NHS and relieved to be seeing the experts.

It wasn’t long until I was called in to my appointment.  What a lovely young chap (eek do I sound old?).   He took his time to ask me questions, dates and how I felt.  Then the manual examination.   He then asked for the senior consultant to come in and do an examination to double check she agreed with his diagnosis.

The good news is the drugs are working!

The not so good news is that the consultant said I had obviously managed to get a severe attack of this stupid disease.  In order to get on top of the internal and oral spread, I am however going to glow for a little longer as he wants me on the big girl dose for an extended time. I reduce one of the steroids by 5mg a week but in reality it’s a pretty strong dose with risks associated with their long term use and many many side affects.

Very impressed with the consultation today and feeling super grateful for our NHS.  Let’s see how I get on with all these drugs and then I am to return in April to see the consultant and check progress.

Burglary filming

Following the burglary a few years ago, I was invited by my local Council to take part in a film that they would like to use to help residents think about how they can stay safe from burglary.

I have to say I found it really quite hard thinking back to the moment I came home and found someone had violated my home and I had lost so many irreplaceable items. Both personal items, things that belonged to my deceased Mum and of course my computer and tech. Sadly as my savings were then depleted, I wasn’t able to replace these items and it became the final nail in the coffin of the Living Beyond Diagnosis charity cancer events.

You can view the video here.

My Health Update

Well there’s good news and bad news…

The good news is that I had my 6 monthly ultrasound and chest x-ray and no sign of any lumps of mets from Phyllodes.  That’s the good news.

I also met my new consultant at the Royal Marsden.  Lovely chap who’s just returned from working in the US.  He understood the frustrations with a rare cancer diagnosis and I was delighted that he’d taken the time to read my notes and know about ME.

He kindly spent time with me chatting about how I’d been and asking if there was anything I was concerned about.  I told him that my boobs were still very painful (they always have been, but so much worse since Phyllodes, however probably nothing to be overly concerned about as I have such a good follow-up regimen).

I also showed him a rash I have had – I only showed him the rash on my wrists.  (The poor radiographer who had done my ultrasound a few weeks earlier had been utterly surprised by the rash on my boobs and armpits.  She looked genuinely shocked and horrified that I’d been waiting for several months to get a dermatology appointment…. more about that in the ‘bad news’ section.)  My consultant didn’t know what it could be but thought it may be auto-immune.  This then led me to ask him what he knew or suspected about a connection between Phyllodes and auto-immune illnesses.  His response **raised eyebrows** “that’s very interesting, why?”.  I told him that within our Facebook Phyllodes Support Group we had, and are still running, a poll asking members if they (or family members) had been ever been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease.  Although only 150odd people have responded there’s a big percentage that have a link.  Auto-immune disease is a spectrum of disease though and covers psoriasis to multiple sclerosis.

A good explanation of auto-immune disease is:

Autoimmune diseases are a large group of conditions. They include

Rheumatoid arthritis
Multiple sclerosis
Inflammatory bowel diseases
Skin conditions, such as psoriasis

If you have an autoimmune disease, your own immune system attacks your body tissues. Normally, our immune system protects our body against infections caused by bacteria, viruses and other parasites. It recognises when something foreign enters your body and can usually get rid of it before it causes you any harm. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system can make mistakes. Your immune cells start to attack your own normal body cells.

I left the Royal Marsden feeling assured about my Phyllodes health but also that they are assisting me and others diagnosed with Phyllodes in researching and answering questions for our Phyllodes Support Group.  My consultant has subsequently emailed me to let me know he has chased the researcher who has a list of ‘basic’ Phyllodes questions to answer that I sent in a while ago.  The answers to these questions will allay many fears for newly diagnosed Phyllodes patients.  As it is so rare and there is little/no clinical research to rely on, I have suggested that they caveat any answers of concern with ‘in the experience of Royal Marsden’ or ‘to the best of our knowledge’ etc.  It would be good to have some answers on behalf of the UK sarcoma medical profession.  It is then aimed that the same questions will be put to medical professionals in the US, Australia and Asia.  All four sets of responses will then become available to new members of the Phyllodes Support Group.

My consultant also advised in his email that he’s asked the research team to look at any links between Phyllodes and auto-immune diseases.

The bad news…

…back to the rash.

At the end of October the soles of my feet started to really itch.  Initially there was nothing visible but soon there were small spots and dry patches.  I did wonder if I had fleas or bugs in the carpet.  I wish!  Next a sore angry rash appeared on my wrists, the palm of my left hand and both ankles.  I spent an age hoovering and rehoovering carpets, cleaning, dusting and generally convinced that it must be bugs.  Convinced that the spread to my hands and wrists must be because I’m scratching my feet.  I have been, as I’ve previously on my blog, very tired or fatigued for months/years but it had been getting worse. I know most of you see my facebook posts about my playing of tennis and going out… but you don’t get to see the posts that say I’m having an afternoon nap and didn’t wake up until midday and back in bed early or staying in most evenings.

Back to the rash.  By early November I could cope no more.  It sounded ridiculous but I was on the brink of tears trying to get a GP appointment asap for a ‘rash’.  I wasn’t sleeping well as the itching was so much worse at night.  My visual migraines returned and headaches for fun too.

My GP looked at the rash, said she didn’t know what it was and referred me to a dermatologist.  A few days later she called to say that the referral had been rejected and I needed to try a rash cream.  After a week of slathering myself in the cream, the rash had just spread and was as red and raw, if not more, than before the cream.  I booked another GP appointment.  This time she referred me again with a stronger note and saying the rash had now spread to my chest, armpits, groin, crook of my elbows and crook of my knee as well as my bellybutton… so basically anywhere that gets hot!

A few photos taken at the beginning of December:

LP - December

I waited… and waited… and chased up my appointment… and waited… and was told that my referral hadn’t worked in the system… had to chase my GP to do it again… and waited… and waited… and then called my GP again (in tears)… and waited… chased the referral service… who referred me back to my GP… who referred me back to the service… I cried… who then took pity on me and gave me a reference number, my secret NHS booking password and the number of the dermatology practice… I called them and was told the earliest appointment was over two months away… I booked it… put down the phone and cried again.

I know it was ‘just a rash’ but it F’ing hurt and believe it or not I was worried about the rate at which it was spreading.

I missed an ex-colleague’s funeral. Although the GP had said it wasn’t contagious, she didn’t know what it was and I couldn’t risk attending a funeral where other cancer patients may have compromised immune systems.   I’m sure Ally would have understood.

I was wanting friends, who’s daughter had been hit by a car in October and were ‘camping’ out in my local hospital at her bedside, to spend an evening with me so I could cook a homemade meal for them.  Again I was too scared that should this be contagious I’d make their situation worse just because I’d like to cook for them.  In the end I prepared a Friday night Indian takeaway meal of curry, dahl, naan, pilau rice, bhaji, poppadom, wine and beer.  The food prepped and cooked with me in latex gloves.  I also made some homemade soup for them for another night.  I did seem silly asking them to call round on the way home from the hospital to collect it without inviting them to stay.  I didn’t want to take the risk.  I’d never forgive my selfishness.

Apologies to anyone else I’ve not seen, rain-checked or not taken up some fun outing but I hope now you’ll understand why.

Just before Christmas I again called the GP and this time insisted on seeing my old GP at the practice, who’s been my GP since the 1980s.  He understood why I was so upset.  Looked at the spreading rash, he also said he didn’t believe it was contagious but didn’t know what it was.  He then wrote out a prescription that meant I had a drug that not only managed nighttime itching (generally eczema) but also had a sedative in it.  However he didn’t think it would cure the rash.  What a treat on 23rd December to have sleep!

Finally, 10 days ago, my appointment with a very kind dermatology specialist arrived.  I should have taken photos at this stage – definitely the worst time.  Diagnosis took just a few minutes.  Her opening line was “oooh I think I know what it is.  It’s very rare and you seem to have a severe case”.  (Oh joy another rare thing for me then!).  After consulting the computer and getting a second opinion from a colleague she told me that I’ve got an auto-immune disease, Lichen Planus.  So far my Lichen Planus (LP) is only external.

She did think that the LP may be caused by something else wrong in my body which has caused the LP to flare.  Blood tests ASAP.  Possible damaged liver or hepatitis.

I left with a prescription for some uber moisturiser and a really strong steroid cream.  She was concerned about giving me oral steroids as apparently what would be required for LP is super strong, has side affects and may be something that I have to continue to take.  So creams first.

I felt relieved to know what it was and had full confirmation that it’s not contagious.  But scared as to what it may be disguising.

As the itching was still horrendous (but being treated) my original GP also kindly did a new prescription for the sedative pills so I can sleep.

So it’s been a crazy time.  Lots of time slathering moisturiser and steroid creams on my body.  For the most part the rash is less angry, the blisters are rarer and for the most part I’m just scarred.   The worst areas are where it started and first spread ie the feet and wrists.  Some photos from earlier today:

Lichen PlanusI’m worried about some new itches and spots on my scalp and mouth ulcers and spots.  From what I’ve read these areas can only be treated orally and if it spreads on the scalp may lead to permanent alopecia.

I’ve got my next dermatology appointment at the end of this month.  Hopefully the creams will have sorted the external spots and the other itching is only in my mind!  I’ll then get the results of my blood tests too.

I’m also feeling much better than I did when first I heard the name Lichen Planus, as I’ve found a fabulous support group on Facebook.  It’s been reassuring to ‘chat’ with others who’ve been diagnosed.  For the most part they talk about it taking months/years to clear and then returning some years later.  I’ve also read about it being incurable but manageable.  It was also been reassuring to hear that there are others who have loss of balance, visual migraines and fatigue – seems this may be something to do with what I’ve been experiencing.

I have been truly fed up though.  I’m fed up of being ‘rare’.  I’m fed up of having stupid and many symptoms.  I’m fed up of worrying about going to see my GP.  I’m fed up with trying to pick my ‘worst’ symptoms to tell the GP about rather than bother them with them all in the limited appointment time.  Nothing seems to be specific or fit into the box.  I hate being a GP botherer however I’m wondering if maybe I should have been earlier ie before LP showed up as a rash.

Anyway enough for now… thought you should know.

BTW I did email my Phyllodes consultant to tell him I’ve been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease.  He’ll be adding LP to his research.

So there you go… the good, the bad and the ugly (well that’s evident from my photos!)

Verdi’s Requiem and Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles

Tonight I snuck off to the Royal Festival Hall for a concert.  I always feel a little naughty sneaking off to concerts on my own but delightfully happy to do so.  I particularly love the Royal Festival Hall as the acoustics are fabulous, the interior decor amazingly retro and tickets are affordable.

The incredible London Philharmonic Orchestra were performing the Requiem with a twist and I wasn’t going to miss it.

LPO RequiemSuch a clever performance and not as standard as most music lovers would know.  The conductor, Jurowski, bought together the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Choir and Pamplona Choral Society to produce a spellbinding concert.  The evening’s performance was with both Verdi’s Requiem and Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles.  A contrast in style, precision and drama.  Where Verdi had written his Requiem from grief, Stravinsky had written his with an expression of calm detachment.

A powerful performance suited the Royal Festival Hall perfectly.

Exceptional.  What a treat.

Reviews:

‘Jurowski drew from the musicians’ precise synchronisation for the Stravinsky, and realised Verdi’s quasi-operatic drama without ever indulging in mere theatricality.’
George Hall, The Guardian, 27 January 2015

‘… outstanding choral singing and orchestral playing [with] the splendid Orfeón Pamplonés [and] powerful singing of the London Philharmonic Choir. And rhythmic definition was razor-sharp, impetus highly charged, under Jurowski’s baton. […] Each tiny ritualistic section [of Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles] was minutely sculpted by Jurowski into pungent fragments of sound and eloquent silence.’
Hilary Finch The Times 26 January 2015

‘Rather than let the [Verdi Requiem’s] Sanctus bound off like a race-horse, Jurowski settled on a slightly more relaxed speed that gave it substance and meaning, and the same approach to the big Libera me fugue paid off handsomely in terms of weight and clarity. This was very much an opera-conductor’s interpretation. […]
Peter Reed, Classical Source, 25 January 2015

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe

Tonight’s outing was to St James Theatre Studio in Victoria to see a monologue play about Marilyn Monroe’s final hours.  The play was written as if we were in Marilyn’s bedroom and she was talking to us.  Incredible part and I take my hat off to the actress, Lizzie Wort, who ‘became’ Marilyn for the entire 1.5hrs.  The set was cleverly put together from police and press photographs and then sourcing the (now) retro items and specific books and prints to make sure it was true to the story.  Even the labels on the many pill bottles were correct to the many prescription drugs that Marilyn had at the time and even the prescribing Dr’s details written on them.

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When I was in my early 20s I was a little obsessed by Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis Jnr, Jackie O etc etc and read every biography and autobiography that I could get hold of.  The intrigue, deceit and glamour of the age kept me reading and cross-referencing the stories.  Rarely did the next corroborate the last.  Clearly there was much more to what happened, when and by whom.  Or was it simply that there was so much going on at the time that memories, dates, times and persons present were often ‘forgotten’.  So attending this play was fascinating.  It turns out the playwright had also started in a similar way reading, cross-referencing and asking questions.

The play was his interpretation of what may have happened in the last few hours of Marilyn’s life.  It explained a lot but it also raised more questions.  Cleverly delivered and an amazing performance by Lizzy Wort.

For me, I loved it.  Perhaps only for those who have been captivated or truly intrigued by Marilyn Monroe.

Following the performance there was a Q&A with the playwright, Elton Townend Jones and Lizzie Wort.  Fascinating to stay for this part and hear why he wrote the play and where he got the information upon which he based the script.  We also discovered where the props were sourced, why the clock was set at that time and why there’s a the bad picture of a bust of Abraham Lincoln.

The play originally staged at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013 and has been on tour since then.

Some reviews:
★★★★★  ‘Superlative’ RemoteGoat
★★★★★  ‘Simply stunning’ Edinburgh Reporter
★★★★★  ’Spellbinding’ The Carrick
★★★★★ ‘Outstanding’ One4Review
★★★★  ‘Anything but unremarkable’ Three Weeks
★★★★ ‘Fantastic’ Broadway Baby