Shame the Devil! An Audience With Fanny Kemble | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Shame the Devil! An Audience With Fanny Kemble


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SHAME THE DEVIL! AN AUDIENCE WITH FANNY KEMBLE, Stockyards Theatre Project, at the Majestic Midway Theatre. There's a good play to be written about 19th-century actress and abolitionist Fanny Kemble. Now somebody needs to write it. Though Lori Adams's performance makes Kemble believable, Anne Ludlum's script is less play than school pageant. Instead of showing Kemble's discovery of the true nature of slavery and of her slaveholding husband, Ludlum tells us about it. Perhaps sensing the material's weakness, Janet Wilson overdirects: Adams flits about when simply addressing the audience would be sufficient.

Wisely, however, Wilson chose not to have an intermission, which would only have highlighted the show's lack of momentum. Adams brings intelligence and class to the piece, and Lauren M. Lowell's period-perfect dress helps provide a modicum of authenticity.

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