Then there's the Monroe problem. Jerry Hall's performance in the stage revival of Bus Stop was described as "a bus you wouldn't want to take more than once", but who on earth could take on Marilyn (above) and win?
Playwright Terry Johnson was so intrigued by Monroe's iconic status that he wrote Insignificance, about an imaginary meeting between her and three other major American figures. Theresa Russell played her - wearing the notorious dress from The Seven Year Itch - in the Nic Roeg film version which returns as a play starring Frances Barber at the Donmar in June.
Wisely, the latest revival of The Seven Year Itch - another Billy Wilder/Monroe vehicle - rescues it from beneath Monroe's shadow. Jon Harris's production is a Nineties look at the play and Eleanor Tremain is free to play the role, rather than impersonate a legend.
`The Seven Year Itch' is at the New End Theatre, 27 New End, NW3, from Tue (0171-794 0022)