Review: Bridget Bean's One Woman Show THE DROPPING WELL at the Tampa Fringe Festival

Only 2 Performances Left!

By: Jun. 12, 2024
Review: Bridget Bean's One Woman Show THE DROPPING WELL at the Tampa Fringe Festival
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Bridget Bean is a born storyteller.  You can tell as she immediately enters the stage that she is 100% in her element.  If there’s anything we’ve learned from her past One Woman Shows (including Shirley Valentine and her Titanic Fringe piece from two years ago), it’s that this format works beautifully with her personality, her expressive face and that mesmerizing speaking voice.

Ms. Bean’s current show, THE DROPPING WELL, currently plays at the Tampa Fringe Festival’s West Annex at the Kress Contemporary in Ybor City.  There’s something profoundly moving and dark in this story, one that gives you the creeps but that also keeps you on the edge of your seat, listening, engaging, constantly being enthralled.

Meet Mother Shipton, a soothsayer from 500 years ago who grew up in a cave and  can read the future.  And what she visualizes is not pretty: decapitation, plagues, earthquakes, tsunamis, people running for their lives and the leaders laughing at their misfortune.  “I see a fiery dragon,” she announces as she peers into a pot that glows red.  “It’s the end of the world!”     

She also sees normal things, like who’s having a baby.  And her visions always come true.  She predicts the death of a famous man’s daughter and later becomes known for her predictions.  “Look at me!  I’m a famous soothsayer!”

Things change when Henry VIII declares that magic and witchcraft are illegal and punishable by death. 

The dropping well in the piece is a major prop that, according to Mother Shipton, turns everything to stone.  Something happens when things turn to stone, she informs us--they are captured in history. She predicts the fire of London a century or more before the whole city was set ablaze.  “I may be dead,” she says, “but I’m still in their heads.” She claims that when you see the picture of a witch, it has her face on it--the iconic image of an old hag.

Mother Shipton sees all except for one thing--her own demise.  “I can’t see my own future,” she says.  “Being the devil’s daughter, I just want to stop being afraid of my own future.”

It’s an exciting hour that flies by, and Ms. Bean owns every moment of it.  She even sees us, the spectators, and in the show that I experienced, borrows the sunglasses of one audience member as a prop.  The prop may change during every performance.

THE DROPPING WELL is a gift for fans of Ms. Bean and for any newcomers who have never had the joy of experiencing one of her shows.  You’ll learn quite a bit, but even more importantly, you’ll feel so much.  It will give you the willies in the best possible way.  And above all else, you’ll be in awe of the singular talent that is Bridget Bean.

Bridget Bean’s THE DROPPING WELL at the Tampa Fringe Festival has only two performances left: THURSDAY, JUNE 13TH at 7:00 PM and SATURDAY, JUNE 15TH at 3:00 PM.

Photo credit: Karen Kress


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