Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18)
I hastened my pace as the afternoon rain started to fall. Luckily I had just purchased a new umbrella to match my outfit. So the water falling miraculously from the clouds didnae bother me too much. This was my first experience of this charming theatre, part of the Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket : a very plush venue indeed. With a friendliness that was warming, I knew this was going to be a good thing. I could already feel it. The whole day was going my way. Being a little early, I took advantage of the cheese and tuna ciabatta with a cappuccino for four quid. It was lovely and a bargain. Divine approves.
Then we got our calling… it was time to meet Nell Gwyn. Up until today I had no idea who she was, so I did a bit of research before hand, discovering she was the one-time Mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called “pretty, witty Nell” by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England; a folk heroine with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. This most famous Restoration actress possessed a most prodigious comic talent, & sired two sons by her royal lover: Charles and James Beauclerk, pronounced ‘Bo-Clare’. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘this performance has a lot to live up to.‘ I loved Nell Gwyn already. She was Divine’s kind of Girl.
On entering into the funeral parlor of Ms Gwyn, the first miracle took place. Her perfectly pretty face with painted red lips, came alive and woosh! she sprang to life, mesmerising her audience in an instant with a perfectly cohesive Olde English period language that held ones attention to the max. She held us in the palm of her beautiful hand.The actress embodied the spirit of Nell Gwyn to perfection and gave us a one-woman History lesson. The trials and tribulations of being the exceptionally attractive and entertaining lover to the monarch of the time. Good Time!
This little Lady was one dynamite talent. The acting was never short of genius, even her tears were real. Now this was a Divine first. Wow. Just Wow. Lucy Formby is the Genius that brought this important Historical Lady to life and fully into our consciousness this afternoon. I have seldom experienced such brilliance. With support from Writer and Producer Laura Ingram, this made for a winning performance that was educational, enthralling, totally captivating, sensual and very entertaining indeed. Its a bit like when you see a band on the rise. One just knows. When you know, You Know. You Know.
After the performance I waited to congratulate Lucy Formby and Laura Ingram on such a piece of brilliance. Miss Formby is going to be an international star. Mark my words. Divine is never wrong about such matters. Just before I left, I thanked Miss Formby once again. To be honest I was a bit star-struck. That was a much needed insight. I cannae recommend this performance more highly. I explained that if I could get the Mumble to create a new 6th Star catagory. It would have been created for Nell Gwyn. So Without Any Hesitation FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert