THE BLOG
21/07/2013 15:04 BST | Updated 18/09/2013 06:12 BST

British Theatrical Invasion in NY's Sweltering Heat

As long as there are boards to tread on both sides of the Atlantic, you can be sure a British-American theatrical exchange will be going on in New York.

As long as there are boards to tread on both sides of the Atlantic, you can be sure a British-American theatrical exchange will be going on in New York.

Despite this summer's sweltering heat and the annual Shakespeare festival in Central Park, two notable fringe productions are both running through July 27.

Mirror, Mirror: The Other Side of Marilyn, produced and written by Chris Savery , is an original British take on the Marilyn Monroe legend with Australian Katy-May Hudson playing the screen icon.

Meanwhile, across the East River in Long Island City, British dramatist Alan Bennett's series of dramatic monologues dubbed Talking Heads has been revived by the Mind the Gap NYC company led by Anglophile/artistic director Paula D'Alessandris, who's directing a native U.K. cast.

Mind the Gap is dedicated to producing and promoting the best new British writing and in an exchange of new plays between the U.S. and U.K.

Televised originally by the BBC in 1992, Talking Heads' cast included Bennett himself, Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith and Julie Walters, among others.

Mind the Gap's Talking Heads is playing at the Secret Theatre at 4402 23rd Street

Long Island City, NY.

An enduring Hollywood icon, last year saw Marilyn: The Musical the fictional backdrop of the recently cancelled NBC drama Smash, about the making of a Broadway musical. And then there was the 2011 film, My Week With Marilyn, depicting Monroe shooting a film (The Prince and the Showgirl) in Britain in 1956 with Laurence Olivier, and her brief love affair with a crew member.

Mirror, Mirror, which deals with Monroe's last days, opened at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre in the Broadway district on West 36th Street, as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival, July 15-20. It moves to the Richmond Shepard Theatre, 309 East 26th Street, July 22-27.

Savery visited Monroe's grave in Hollywood, and he subsequently felt a spiritual connection, prompting him to write the play, which is also being sponsored by the University of St Mark & St John in Plymouth, U.K.

Mirror, Mirror, begins with the actress on her death bed, having a conversation with herself and reflecting on her life.

"I'm very excited about playing a woman that was far more than just beauty and glamour, but a role model in many ways," Hudson comments. "She was a global superstar and meant so much to me growing up in Australia."