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Oh My, Nellie Bly (Susan Elkin reviews)

Oh My, Nellie Bly was performed by students from the Musical Theatre Academy at the Bridewell Theatre, London.

Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

Nellie Bly was a ground-breaking 19th-century American journalist, hardly known in the UK but better known in the States.

She posed as an inmate in order to research a searing exposé, ‘10 Days in  Madhouse’, of the treatment of people incarcerated in asylums and later she circumvented the world in 72 days in order to beat Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg.

In the hands of composer/lyricist, Annemarie Lewis Thomas (founder principal of The MTA), book writer Nick Stimson and director Simon Kane, the story makes effective theatre because Nellie’s journey is episodic and the madhouse flashback scenes add raw depth.

This is serious, horrifying stuff and it’s, apparently, straight off the pages of Nellie Bly’s journal in which she recorded the appalling abuse of inmates by the unchecked bullies who staffed the institution …

Read the rest of this review at Musical Theatre Review:

Author information
Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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