solo performance · dr act presents... · Ages 13+ · United States of America

one person show world premiere
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SUSAN TIERNEY uncertified reviewer June 09, 2015
The beguiling Bella Merlin can do anything. And she does. She morphs into characters, sings, dances and spins a tale that I didn't know I needed to know. This production is smart, witty, and enchanting. My favorite parts were the plague, the fire, oh let's not forget that shawl. It's cozy. It's intimate. Directed by Miles Anderson, who's love is spread all over it. Nell Gwynne is enlightening, a treasure. And she might even give you an orange that squeaks.... full review
RICK CREESE uncertified reviewer June 08, 2015
tagged as: brilliant · funny · moving.
Bella Merlin grabbed the audience's attention and affection from her first line and held both throughout the show. It's not easy to write a story about the 1660s and beyond and make it so fun and immediate. Merlin simply became the ghost or spirit of one of the first women on the London stage. The show is very funny throughout, but moving at times too. Anyone who wants to write or act in a one-person show should see this one. Rick Creese, author of "Dora and Me/ Yo soy Dora" and "Bright Swords."... full review
ABBY SCHACHNER uncertified reviewer June 09, 2015
what can i say about bella? i thought she was a delight, a sprite, and her show will make you interested in history! plus, she makes a great looking wench/actress... and... a PRINCE! personally, i could watch about three of these at the same time with varying times and centuries and call it a day! She's got this form down, and I can only imagine the other worlds she has created. All in all, the direction was excellent (the plague part... pulease!), the show was tight, the set, cozy and elaborate, and the performer, once again, a mastress (not to be confused with mattress) of her craft! Go! This artist will school you in more than just history! ... full review
JEN KENYON certified reviewer June 09, 2015
tagged as: Bawdy · clever · language · History
So full of bawdy wit, Bella Merlin's piece cleverly reflects the fascinating subject and the era. The language is delicious, her performance is charming and well-paced, the stage is well-used, the costumes are simple yet sumptuous. It's a real treat for history buffs, theatre nerds and anglophiles; a smart, tight, and well-crafted show overall!... full review
JUDY TYLER certified reviewer June 09, 2015
If you have the chance, do not miss seeing Bella Merlin's "Nell Gwynne" at the Ruby Theatre. This one-woman show, written and performed by Merlin, is an outstanding production in every sense, and an experience you won't forget. From the moment "Nell" greets the audience, to her final goodbye, I was utterly captivated by this delightful, funny, and ultimately poignant play. Merlin is dazzling in her ability to capture the culture and ethos (the late 1600's) when Nell Gwynne lived, and her stunning performance carries you along so thoroughly throughout the play that I totally lost track of time and was surprised when it ended. You will delight in Merlin's clever double entendres and her whimsical, yet always melodic songs that she deftly incor... full review
KEVIN BALLENTINE uncertified reviewer June 09, 2015
tagged as: brilliant · non-stop · Bawdy · intimate · historical · hilarious · sexy
BRAVO, Smashing, Brilliant! Odds and Codfish what a Gal! Singing, Dancing Storytelling, Posturing, Gesturing, Non Stop Action Wow Wow Wow! All this fun with a bit of history to boot! I could see, hear and SMELL old London through the vivid descriptions of Our Gal Nell. Fantastic intimate comfortable venue. Divine costuming, makeup, lighting and sound! Bella is a non-stop hilarious fireball as we meet Nell from lowly Orange Wench and live through her story of her Three Charlies and Adventurous Royal Life and Career(s)! Every Gent and Lady should see this for every reason. By Carriage or by Horse, make your way to The Fringe by all means!! Please be sure to squeeze an orange, it's Delightful!... full review
GORDON MEACHAM certified reviewer June 11, 2015
tagged as: Playful · Bawdy · musical · colorful · solid
Nell Gwynne has everything I look for in a show: historickal accuracy, great staging, penis jokes, singing, lutes, sex jokes, improv, impotency jokes, and penis jokes. It was fun and refreshing to see a 45-minute show as plays and movies get longer and longer. Nell Gwynne got straight to the point and stayed on it for the length of the play. She told her story, sang some songs, spread some gossip about monarchy, and had us squeeze her oranges. It's what theatre used to be and should return to; go see it.... full review
CYNTHIA BECKERT uncertified reviewer June 12, 2015
Delightful! Merlin gives an engaging and nuanced performance, inviting the audience in with warmth and (often bawdy) humor. An extremely palatable history lesson wrapped in a theatrical biography, accompanied by music and song and dramatic snippets of the day. A lovely way in to this character and her world, The Restoration period of England during the reign of Charles II.... full review
PAUL ELLIOTT certified reviewer June 13, 2015
Amazing, Amazing, Amazing.. This show has got to be one of most outstanding shows of this years Fringe... One of LA's finest actresses playing a role she was born to play.... If you have only time for one show this year, don't miss Bella Merlin's stunningly funny and moving, NELL GWYNNE: A DRAMATICK ESSAYE ON ACTING AND PROSTITUTION.... full review
MATTHEW MARTIN uncertified reviewer June 13, 2015
I suppose there's only so much you can say about bloody brilliance! Bella Merlin has crafted such a beautiful piece about a woman so interesting that you wanna just stay in the story even after it's over. The simplicity of the set and the amazing direction of Anderson make this show shine from start to finish. That Bella begins the show well before you're even in your seats truly shows just what a master storyteller she really is. This show is definitely in my Top 5 this year and should be on everyone's "Must See List." Well done!!... full review