22 February - 9 March 2019
Written By: Jessica Swale
Directed By: Megan Dansie
Nell Gwynn is a fabulous romp that premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in September 2015 before transferring to the West End and winning the of 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
It is a fun, bawdy, inside look at theatre and acting of the period. Hearing Nell Gwynn heckled at the playhouse, Charles Hart decides to train her as an actress, just before women are first allowed on the London stage - the pair also become lovers. When Charles II grants permission for women to act, Nell joins Hart in the King's Company. Her admission to the Company is backed by its writer John Dryden, director Thomas Killigrew, and most of the actors except Edward Kynaston, who had previously played the company's female parts. Charles II continues his affair with Lady Castlemaine, although his queen, Catherine, objects. Soon afterwards Charles sees Nell onstage and is greatly attracted to her. He visits her backstage and the pair begin an affair.
The play represents a wonderful twist on the story of The Stirling Players’ 2012 sellout hit, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, also directed by Megan Dansie.
Nell Gwynn - our heroine - Emily Currie
Rose Gwynn - Nell’s sister - Anita Pipprell
Nancy - Nell’s dresser and confidante - Kate Anolak
Lady Castlemaine - Charles’ most ambitious mistress - Alicia Zorkovic
Louise de Keroualle - Charles’ French mistress - Rose Harvey
Queen Katherine - Charles’ Portuguese wife - Karyn Fuller
Old Ma Gwynn - Nell’s mother, a brothel madam - Karyn Fuller
Charles II - the King, obviously - Peter Davies
Charles Hart - leading actor of the King’s Company - Brad Martin
Thomas Killigrew - actor-manager of the King’s Company - Lindsay Dunn
Lord Arlington - Charles II’s advisor - Philip Lineton
John Dryden - playwruight - Matt Chapman
Ned Spigget - actor in training in the King’s Company - Simon Barnett
Edward Kynaston - actor in the King’s Company, plays the women’s parts - Dylan Odonnell
Director: Megan Dansie
Musical Director - Jacqui Maynard
Choreographer - Rebecca Kemp