About Marilyn and Ella
“She was ahead of her time and she didn't even know it” Ella Fitzgerald on Marilyn Monroe
“Everybody knows you don't mess with a victim” Marilyn Monroe on Marilyn Monroe
It’s 1955 and Marilyn Monroe is at the height of her fame. Despite this, she wants to be taken seriously as an artist, like the woman she most admires, jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald, who is also at the peak of her career.
Even though she can’t quite believe her own success, Ella wants more too. She wants the kind of fame Marilyn has. She wants to be in the movies. But to break into Hollywood, she needs to meet the ‘right’ people like the producers and money-men who frequent the ‘living-room of the stars’ Mocambo night club.
But Ella stands no chance of singing at the whites-only Mocambo…until Marilyn steps in and pulls strings like nobody else can!
These two iconic women - both outsiders - come together in an evening of raw emotion and great songs. A true but forgotten moment of American showbiz history re-enacted live on stage.
Driven by ambition, frustrated by prejudice, united in friendship.
Famous for bringing new musical drama to the stage, Theatre Royal Stratford East joins forces with renowned playwright Bonnie Greer to present – Marilyn and Ella. Set in 1955 Marilyn and Ella is the little-known true story of the friendship between two of the 20th century’s biggest icons - Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald.
The play will showcase the talents of NICOLA HUGHES (Porgy and Bess, Chicago) as Ella Fitzgerald and WENDY MORGAN (A Street Car Named Desire, The Bill) as Marilyn Monroe. Audiences can an expect a truly enchanting evening with many of the hit songs that Ella and Marilyn made famous including, They Can't Take That Away From Me; Lady Is a Tramp; Someone To Watch Over Me; My Funny Valentine; Diamond Are A Girl’s Best Friend.
Marilyn and Ella is directed by COLIN MCFARLANE with music and songs arranged and directed by WARREN WILLS
This play with music is a development of the acclaimed 2005 Radio 4 play - "Marilyn and Ella Backstage at the Mocambo" and the Edinburgh Fringe 2006 hit cabaret/play "Ella Meet Marilyn."