Eglantyne is a one woman play written and performed by actress Anne Chamberlain which follows the life and story of Eglantyne Jebb. This 75-minute documentary play delves deep into Chamberlain’s love and respect for the woman who fronted and fought for the charity campaign ‘Save The Children’ exploring what made Jebb the woman she was.
You can feel the love and admiration Chamberlain has for Jebb, it radiates from her, giving her a glow that shines through her eyes rather than just the stage lights. She uses a range of storytelling tactics jumping from first person into third and even taking time to explain her own emotional connection to the historical figure and a few costume changes.
Eglantyne’s story is one of triumph and failure and unfortunately this production is too. Whilst the story of the woman is thoroughly told it would seem 75 minutes was too little a time for Chamberlain to tell it, having to rush through parts of the script leaving the audience confused at times, especially when having to decipher when she had been playing Jebb and when she had been playing herself. The speed in which the script was delivered made it very difficult to build an emotional connection to the brilliant woman that was Eglantyne Jebb.
If you are already aware of the public figure and share as much enthusiasm as Chamberlain does then this play would be for you, similarly if you enjoy seeing a performer in absolutely joy and awe of their craft then look no further, but for someone with no knowledge prior of the subject matter like myself it can be a lot to take in.
The play has potential but unfortunately, it’s still got a long way to go.
Eglantyne plays until august 29th at Gilded Balloon Teviot, every day at 11.05 am (excluding 16th). Tickets can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Eglantyne%22
Reviewer: Beth Eltringham
Reviewed: 11th August 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★