Monica Wallis

Mary’s mother. A sad, lonely figure.



“Funeral: There is a Fountain” / “It Don’t Make Sense” – with Frankie Epps, Britt Craig, Iola Stover, Essie, Monteen and Townspeople
“Trial Part VI: My Child Will Forgive Me”




Mrs Phagan in PARADE

I see her as an uneducated Hillybilly whose only moment of anger, only loss of control, is when she finishes her song in the trial by standing up, facing Leo Frank and shouting “Jew!”

During the funeral of her daughter Mary, Mrs Phagan is horrified that Frankie is “showboating” and getting all the attention.

Mrs Phagan 1

In real life, Frankie Epps was George Epps and, although the press called him Mary’s “boyfriend” and “boy chum”, Mrs Phagan testified that that simply wasn’t the case and she was not best pleased by his boasting that he was Mary’s “beau”. She said the she … “never heard Mary speak of any boy friends and that the statement that George Epps made … that Mary was a chum of Epps and that he had an engagement with Mary at a local drugs store was to her mind incorrect, as she heard Mary say that she detested Epps and Mrs Phagan (now known as Mrs Coleman due to her remarrying) is sure that Epps did not have any engagement with Mary on that Saturday afternoon as stated.”

So there is scope, during the funeral, to see this conflict.

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