April de Angelis
A Paines Plough / Òran Mór Production
Part of the A Play, A Pie and a Pint series Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
The last days of Lord Nelson's lover: it's a quirky little bit of history that the lover of one of France's greatest enemies ended her days there. Joanna Bacon gives quite a quirky performance too as the eccentric Lady Hamilton reduced from being part of the world's most famous couple (her words) to living in a barn.
With her is Horatia Nelson (Louise Ford) whom she has effectively kidnapped. Their situation is quite desperate with Lady Hamilton turning to drink and Horatia having to beg for food. The play examines the difficult mother-daughter relationship; they don't even admit they're mother and daughter until the end. Ford has a quiet elegance as Horatia that contrasts well with Bacon's louder cruder Emma.
Lady Hamilton makes much of her 'Attitudes' for which she was once famous, though when she does finally get round to performing them they are a grotesque parody, although admittedly they are a good comic relief for the drama. Bacon has plenty of fun with the role and this is definitely appreciated by the audience.
There wasn't a great deal to this piece but it was a fun little history lesson.
Until 16th October
Reviewer: Seth Ewin