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solo performance · dr act presents... · Ages 13+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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STEPHANIE MCCNAMARA certified reviewer June 09, 2015
tagged as: Bawdy · Effervescent · theatrical · saucy · Bold
Beautiful performance by a brilliant and endearing actress as she lifts her skirts and invites us to take a peak at the formidable Nell Gwynne. Bella Merlin shines as Nell, and makes her come to life in all her facets. Beautifully staged and deliciously played. Bella is hugely accomplished and delights in the material that she WROTE. A jam-packed hour of talent, heart, skill and FUN! If you think you know about Charles II do yourself a favor and go witness Nell's perspective on this incredible period in English history!... full review
JENNIFER ASHE certified reviewer June 15, 2015
tagged as: A delight!
A delight! Bella Martin brings commitment and joy to Nell Gwynne. This bawdy wench takes us from the bedroom to the stage and finally to her ultimate dreams. The staging was tight, the costumes perfect. One of my favorites so far.... full review
ERNEST KEARNEY certified reviewer June 15, 2015
Actress, Bella Merlin certainly enjoys herself portraying Nell Gwynne (1650 – 1687), one of history’s most engaging tarts. Fortunately, the audience is swept up in Merlin’s bravado performance from the moment she steps out on stage, rattling merrily on about her life’s journey that took her from poor country girl, to star of the London stage, and finally to the bed of England’s King. The historical period known as the “Restoration” in reference to the return of the monarchy in the person of King Charles II to England after the death of Oliver Cromwell was a fascinating time. Merlin sings some bawdy ditties of the period, and chews a little scenery when talking about the roles Gwynne played, and touches on the devastating plague of 1665 an... full review
STEPHEN BLACKBURN certified reviewer June 14, 2015
Sex! Theater! History! Bella Merlin (Actor/Writer) does a wonderful job of entertaining as "pretty, witty Nell," a mostly forgotten (or never known) female star of the English stage and mistress (and jester!) of the king a century after Shakespeare, when women were finally allowed by law to perform on stage. What a fascinating character! Can a movie version be far behind? Award-winning actor Miles Anderson directs for maximum audience pleasure, and the costumes by Jason Estala & design by Allison-Marie Molnaa excellently enhance the experience. ... full review
BEN MOROSKI June 15, 2015
tagged as: vivid · energizing · vital
Bella Merlin just broke the theatre. A vivid, energizing, vital romp through an oft-forgotten corner of stage history. A refreshing take on the biographical solo play about a theatre artist (which seems to be a genre in itself), Bella brings Nell to life and I would have spent another 45 minutes with her just to hear more of her stories. The play and performance are a gift to the Fringe and should most definitely be seen.... full review
Bravo! Thoroughly enjoyed being enchanted back in time to visit with Nell & be entertained by her. Beautifully penned & well acted, this is indeed a journey I would go on with her over & over again. YAY! :) ... full review
Enchanting. Lovely. Don't miss it. ... full review
GUY PICOT June 19, 2015
tagged as: Bawdy · Wench
This is a lot of show for one woman and 45 minutes. Ms Merlin sings, dances, plays the lute (and several characters) as she tells the story of England's first celebrity actress. What could be a dry history lesson is so beautifully executed that it ends up being a celebration of theatre itself. Obviously meticulously researched and crafted, the play illuminates a time and place perfectly. The performance is generous and joyful. ... full review
LAUREL WETZORK certified reviewer June 20, 2015
A tour de force for Bella Merlin. The excellent singing, acting, writing, and multiple personalities she displayed (did I say acting?), were a delight. The production values were very high. If you like intelligent, well-written, shows about strong women, don't miss this piece. The only complaint? We felt that the play could be expanded even further, to a full-length production. We wanted to spend even more time exploring the various characters (the King, mistresses, theatre critic). Great work! ... full review
DEBBIE BOLSKY certified reviewer June 21, 2015
Amazing, fun, bawdy enjoyable 45 minutes. I believed Bella Merlin was Nell Gwynne. I could see this getting expanded to a full length play. Bravo!... full review

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