by Park Theatre
See that fascinating creature
With perfection stamped on ev'ry feature
She was plain little Nellie
The kid from the deli
But Mother of God, look what happened to Mabel!
This week I went to see the glorious Mack and Mabel at Southwark Playhouse, produced by Park trustee Danielle Tarento.
Mack and Mabel is first and foremost a love story, but it is also an irresistible tale of transformation: of Mabel's rise from deli to silver screen, where audiences find they can see into her soul.
It's human nature, I guess, that we'll always fall for the timeless ugly duckling makeover. And at Park, as the scaffolding is shed and the lipstick-red exterior emerges, that's exactly what we're witnessing. Social media are awash with snaps taken by passers by, marvelling at what's sprung up where a grungy office block used to be - it's magnetic. Mary and Joseph, they're all saying. Look what happened to Mabel.
The real-life Mabel Normand, c1910s