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PRETTY, WITTY NELL

solo performance · rogue shakespeare® · Ages 17+ · world premiere · one person show · United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Review by MORNA MURPHY MARTELL

June 09, 2019

What I liked

All I knew about Nell Gwynn (and I’m British-born) was that she was the saucy mistress to one of the Kings named Charles back in the good old days. After experiencing Ryan J-W Smith’s slapstick theater in verse, I now know she was a very wicked wench who romped with more than her share of blue-blooded royals. Still, the message is clear – Nell really was quite a pretty, if not necessarily witty, Bad Girl, as portrayed lustily by Melanie Johnson.

What I didn't like

Not to give away the surprises Ryan J-W has in store, my only gripe is that the cavernous theater space, and the rapid-fire pace of rhyming dialogue, made it hard to hear what anyone – Nell or her many comical lovers – were actually saying.

My overall impression

A wacky slapstick historical romp.

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