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

one person show world premiere
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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
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
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
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
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
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