The arched eyebrows, the chiselled cheekbones, the husky voice and that unmistakable pout. As actress Sian Phillips slips into the persona of Marlene Dietrich to sing a snatch of Falling In Love Again, it's hard to believe you are not in the presence of Hollywood's most enigmatic legend.
A touring production of Marlene has been wowing theatre audiences around Britain and moves into London's West End next week.
Surprisingly, the Dietrich look for the play is re-created by Sian herself. She applies her own make-up with only the help of a wig master to put the famous blonde coiffure in place just before a performance begins.
Written by Pam Gems, Marlene is set backstage in a Paris theatre in the 1970s, when Dietrich was touring the world in a one-woman cabaret. "Marlene was very brave," says Sian. "She travelled alone, constantly having to live up to people's huge expectations of her. …