Marilyn Monroe was notorious for fluffing lines and behaving outrageously on film sets. So was lesser known but equally notorious film star Tallullah Bankhead. Matthew Lombardo’s play is an imagining of what took place when .she spent one inebriated day in a .Los Angeles recoding studio taping one single line, a loop of dialogue, a loop, for her final film ‘Die Die! My Darling’.
Glenda Kenyon gives a .bravura performance as the Hollywood firebrand. Tallulah was known for her rapier like wit and there are many great lines that Kenyon delivers with aplomb. Lines such as ‘the Salem witch hunts are over. You’re safe’ and ‘I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens’.
One of the dramatic flourishes of the play is the memory of her playing Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. She talks about her performance which she remembers fondly and ends up even delivering one of her favourite speeches from the play.
Glenda’s real real life son Jordan Kenyon plays the hapless film editor Danny Miller who is charged with the responsibility of getting Bankhead to put down her line in the studio. He gives a good performance as the beleaguered,, frustrated editor who just wants to get the job done and get on with his day.
Greg Kenyon, Jordan’s real life father, has an offer stage role as Steve, the studio sound engineer who is also .dying to get away.
Tallulah makes every request ‘under the sun’ to avoid putting down her line including making a request for alcohol, stoping her line half way through because she has forgotten the rest of her line.
We, the audience, start to get as exasperated as Danny at Tallulah’s recalcitrance
The play goes over two Acts. The end of Act 1 sees Tallulah go missing. Act 2 starts with Tallulah having gone missing for a while and Danny wondering whether she will actually return to finish the job.
Act 2 sees Tallulah and Danny have a heart as Steve leaves his studio for a while.
Jennifer Gilchrist’s production was a winning one.. Greg Keynon’s set is .an ample one for the compact nature of the play.
This was the Australian premiere production It was a good night in the theatre. LOOPED plays Rockdale’s Guild Theatre until Saturday 7th March, 2020.