Writer: Anne Chamberlain
Director: KC Kelly
Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts
Eglantyne Jebb was an extraordinary woman. Unfortunately, she was an extraordinary woman that has been overlooked by history. Anne Chamberlain’s one woman show, Eglantyne, sets about putting that right and shining a light on a woman whose legacy can still be seen changing millions of lives around the world today.
Written and performed by Chamberlain, Eglantyne follows the life of Jebb from her idyllic rural childhood to her studies at Oxford University. The loss of her father and brother, and her pioneering work with Save The Children. Not shying away from any elements of her life, Jebb’s character freely discusses her darker times and mental health as well as reading to the audience from extracts of her love letters to Margaret Keynes.
An outstanding performance from Chamberlain, engaging and endearing in equal measure. Slipping between stories from the life of Jebb and stories from her own life, with the two often mirroring one another in the detail, and in doing so, grounding this remarkable woman in reality.
Simple staging sees just a table, chair and coat stand grace the stage. KC Kelly’s direction creating the perfect balance between these three places and allowing for many a story to burst forth from them.
Not only is this a great show, it’s also a really important story, of an incredible life. A love letter to a woman that changed the lives of so many around the world, and who’s legacy continues to do good to this day.
Runs until 11 May 2017 at Sweet Venues Waterfront 1
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