The Girl Who Jumped off the Hollywood Sign is a superb one woman show at Assembly Roxy (Venue 139), written and performed by Australian Joanne Hartstone.
Inspired by the true story of Peg Entwistle, who committed suicide by jumping from the “H” of the Hollywood sign in 1932, Joanne Hartstone in words and song tells the story of Evelyn “Evie” Edwards, whose only ambition in life was to be a star, and who would do almost anything to achieve her goal.
Joanne gives an incredible performance, deeply moving at times although with its moments of humour, as she tells Evie’s life story through the Depression and World War II, working as a studio messenger and volunteering in the Hollywood Canteen, and eventually getting a chance to audition. Evie’s personal story is set against a background of the reality of life in “The Dream Factory”, where the studio bosses would take a young girl and mould her into the image they wanted, seemingly with little regard for her own health or wellbeing.
The show starts with Evie standing on the 50 foot high letter H, and ends with her back there. Does she follow the fate of Peg Entwistle? You’ll have to see the show to find out.
Review by Lisa Sibbald