Cygnet Theatre Brings Intense Moments in "The Little Fellow" World Premiere

Combining strong Performances and Engaging Storytelling  

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Rachael VanWormer, Sofia Jean Gomez, MJ Sieber, Keiko Green (center). Photo by Karli Cadel Photography

"The Little Fellow (or The Queen of Tarts Tells All)" Cygnet Theatres world premiere production written by Kate Hamil and directed by Rob Lufty is a risqué comedic drama, loosely based on the life and tell-all memoirs of 19th-century courtesan Harriette Wilson. The piece is strong with its doses of suspense. 

Keiko Green, portraying Harriette Wilson, shines in her role, capturing the essence of the character with skill. The entire cast is terrific, giving their all to bring the story to life. MJ Seiber's portrayal of the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, is a standout performance, -I believe one of his best-demonstrating superb acting abilities. Particularly noteworthy are the scenes he shares with real-life wife, Keiko Green, which showcase a true master class in acting—alive, strong, and emotionally impactful. The intensity of the deliveries, especially Green and Seiber is such, that it made me think of the show run as a whole and the loads of energy it takes to perform from Wednesday to Sunday. It definitely is a testament to their histrionic mettle and fortitude. Rachael VanWormer's return to the San Diego stage is met with a marvelous performance, offering thought-provoking moments as the chambermaid Mary. Sofia Jean Gomez, portraying courtesan Julia Johnstone and Harriette's childhood "co-worker," brings a delightful blend of comedy, drama, and cynicism to her character with creativity and spunk. Rob Lufty's direction is spot on when delivering these complex multi-layered stories that transport the audience to different worlds, creating a true theatre experience.
Keiko Green, Sofia Jean Gomez. Photo by Karli Cadel Photography

Yi-Chien Lee's scenic design, primarily focusing on the Little Fellow's quarters, is flexible, realistic, and practical, effortlessly transitioning between scenes while providing the necessary elements. In addition, an unexpected reveal will leave audiences in awe. Shirley Pierson's period costume design, featuring girdles, slips, and crinolines, along with Peter Herman's wig design, successfully transports the audience to the 19th century. Anne E. McMills' lighting design and Steven Leffue's sound design further enhance the overall production, adding depth and creating a captivating atmosphere.

I love when theatres bring to the stage these types of stories that bring up questions, and make you go and research to compare and contrast the versions and theories out there. Although the piece needs some tuning so the scenes flow more smoothly as with all new works, "The Little Fellow (or The Queen of Tarts Tells All)" definitely delivers a memorable theatrical experience, combining strong performances, engaging storytelling, and cool production elements. Currently playing until November 19. For performance days and times, please click HERE

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