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

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CHRISTINA OGUNADE certified reviewer June 22, 2015
I'd say my thought were provoked and senses entertained. Bella embodied Nell Gwynne effortlessly, with a beautiful portrayal of old time, English vaudeville life, was fun. Nell, however, made some points that drew parallels to females in the entertainment industry today. Hyper-sexual images that overstate, in some cases incredible talent, in order to draw the attention of viewers to be entertained. Understanding the nature of "the business," those that took control of their life and image, like Nell, rode to the top, and funny enough, become "human" enough to relate to. I do not want to make people think that this piece is all serious business, people it is not. Nell Gwynne, as a character is a lot of fun to get to know. And in all h... full review
ROBIN RUSSIN certified reviewer June 27, 2015
As Polonius might put it, a great example of " tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited" -- actually, just a wonderful, lively, inventive performance-- we had a great time!... full review
CHARLES ZIARKO certified reviewer June 22, 2015
Bella Merlin borrows a trick or two from the 20th Century's Debbie Reynolds, mingling with the waiting audience for a quarter hour in costume and in character, so that when her "performance" as Nell Gwynne begins we're already in thrall to her personality! She tells Nell's story with skill, punctuated with bits of (authentically) bawdy songs. Well-researched and well-performed, augmented with nifty props and costumes. It's well worth spending an hour (including pre-show) with Bella! ... full review
LAURA CARSON certified reviewer June 24, 2015
tagged as: brilliant · clever · assured · fun · captivating
I was simply captivated by Bella Merlin! She is so fun to watch embody the force of nature that was Nell Gwynne. Her performance of the 17th century actress is fierce, funny, assured, clever, naughty - a triumph. Just amazing. NOT TO BE MISSED!!... full review
KATHARINE EMMER certified reviewer June 25, 2015
What a wonderful show & a stellar performance!!!... full review
ERITH JAFFE-BERG certified reviewer June 25, 2015
"Nell Gwynne: A Dramatick Essaye on Acting" is a wonderful performance which brings history alive. Exuberantly performed by Bella Merlin, and astutely directed by Miles Anderson, the 45 minute solo performance stages stages the story of one of the first English actresses who was also the mistress of King Charles II. The dramatic live of Nell Gwynne, a simple country girl who moves to London, becomes an "orange girl" at the theatre and eventually graces the stage, is set against the equally tumultuous evolution of seventeenth-century London, suffering from plagues and fires. The action moves swiftly, combining humor (bawdy and ribald physicality) and poignant moments (recollections of family members lost) in a well put together narration. Mus... full review
JEFF MILLS certified reviewer June 25, 2015
What a delight! Bella Merlin's performance as the first professional actress on the English stage was enchanting, clever and naughty. She fully engaged the audience while giving us a fascinating look at an important historical moment. Her use of music was right on point and hilarious. She's wonderfully talented! ... full review