Guy Masterson talks about THE MARILYN CONSPIRACY at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Guy Masterson
Name of Edinburgh show: THE MARILYN CONSPIRACY
Venue: ASSEMBLY GEORGE SQUARE STUDIO ONE on 02 – 27 AUG (not 13th)
Performance time: 13.45
Show length: 80 mins
Ticket price: £14 – £18

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background? I’ve been a professional actor since 1985. I started in Hollywood after my uncle, the actor Richard Burton, died suddenly in Geneva. I studied acting at UCLA, and, after a few years doing “Equity Waiver” plays around Los Angeles and the odd TV and Film walk ons, I got my Equity Card in 1988 as Mick in Pinter’s “The Caretaker”. I produced my first show the same year and then left the USA to do the Postgraduate course at LAMDA. After I graduated, I was out of work – and, like most resting actors decided to produce my own solo show. I chose Peter Flannery’s “The Boy’s Own Story”, and toured it around schools and arts centres. I was spotted by a casting director and offered a part in Elijah Mojinski’s production of “Cyrano De Bergerac” with Robert Lindsay which ran for 9 months in the West End. During this, I decided to do a second solo piece “Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas which hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994 and it changed my life. I followed this with a solo adaptation of “Animal Farm” and soon I was travelling the world with these two classic texts. This led to my meeting all kinds of like-minded, hugely talented international artists who I then started presenting at the Edinburgh Fringe. Their success and awards enhanced my own reputation as a producer and the rest is history. I have since produced, presented or participated in over 120 shows over 24 years. There are too many highs to highlight and lows to bury, but it’s been fun!

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
THE MARILYN CONSPIRACY is a full length 8 actor play about the conspiracy that surrounds the mysterious and sudden death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962 which was recorded as “Probable Suicide” but we think it’s far from it. We have taken all the facts, myths and downright lies about the death and put them together in the form of a play out of which the audience is left with very little doubt as to what really happened on the night

August 4th 1962. It’s great for those who love Marilyn and for those who love a thrilling whodunit.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Myself and co-writer (and originator) Vicki McKellar have been working for nearly 4 years to bring this to the stage. It has gone through 19 drafts and 5 readings. It’s relevant because the way Marilyn Monroe was treated by the Studios and various people at the very pinnacle of power in the USA, she could kicked off the #MeToo movement 56 years ago! Two days prior to her death, she had threatened “to blow the lid of the whole God-damned thing” which threatened people at the very top of government. Had she lived, It could be a very different world!

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Trawl the internet for the hot shows from day one and book your tickets early so you are sure to see the best shows. If you are performing, don’t overindulge, don’t drink alcohol within 12 hours of your show and give the very best you can. Bring a wind-sheeter, waterproof shoes, warm clothes, a scarf and a hat just in case the weather changes on you… which it is prone to do. Don’t fuel yourself on coffee and chips. Bring an umbrella.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
When I performed an hour of Animal Farm in a boiler suit with no underwear in front of 500 girls, 14 years old and above with my flies undone.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
My uncle, Richard Burton, for stillness, textual agility, power and presence. Stephen Berkoff for creativity, mime and physical movement. Harold Pinter for writing, and Dimitri Krymov for directorial vision.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Deep relaxation for at least 10 minutes to forget the world outside the theatre and at least one visit to the toilet.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
To be honest, I’ve been too busy to study the brochure, but I always love to see my pals Gavin Robertson (Greg Byron Wordshow), Nick Collett (The Tearoom), Joanne Hartstone (The Girl That Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign & That Daring Australian Girl); Rebecca Vaughan (Orlando) Phil Nichol (Anything)

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Because in the over 150 shows that I have done on the Fringe in 24 years, this feels like one of the best yet.


Buy tickets to West End theatre shows (some great discounted offers)
Subscribe to my mailing list for all the latest theatre news, special offers and competitions