Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Theatre 2017: Review Sixteen - Nell Gwynn

Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare's Globe, London. May 2016.

I am so pleased that this has come back to the Globe. In 2015, when it first played, I also didn't see it when in came to Cambridge in the hopes that it would return to the Globe like the rumours had suggested. When the day of the play came around it has to be said that my heart wasn't in it entirely - the lovely warm weather of April had morphed into some really cold, unseasonable, weather in Norfolk and the idea of sitting in an open air theatre wasn't appealing.

I am so glad that we went (this will be Mr Norfolkbookworm's only trip to the Globe this season). From the moment the play started I had a happy smile on my face and this just didn't slip for the entire performance.  The story is slight in many ways but it has a lot to say about the Nell's time and our own - Swale seems to be the mistress of making history speak to us without over doing it, while at the same time knowing that you can write with a broad brush for performances at the Globe.  The lines about how important the arts are and Brexit were utterly played to the audience but yet some of the quieter lines making similar points resonated just as well.

It is hard to write about a piece of theatre that I loved so much, I wanted to watch it again instantly and I am worried that if I write too much about it I will lose the magic. This was the ultimate in a feel good show and has set the bar high for the rest of the Globe's Summer of Love season.

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