“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. Musical interludes performed by Merlin on an historic instrument are particular gems. This performance is perfect for lovers of history and theatre alike!