WOMEN take centre stage for the first time in Nell Gwynn at Leamington’s Loft Theatre.
The year is 1660. The dark, dreary years of Cromwell’s puritanical rule are over and King Charles II – the Merry Monarch – has been restored to the throne. The theatres have re-opened, but with one big innovation.
Previously all roles were played by men, but now the king has decreed that women may also appear on stage. Foremost among this new breed of actresses is the heroine of Jessica Swale’s award winning comedy – pretty, witty Nell Gwynn.
The homage to Nell charts her meteoric rise from the poverty of Coal Yard Alley to success on the stage at Drury Lane, and in the King’s bed.
Nell is a likeable opportunist, fascinating and sexy, hard driven yet ultimately a victim of love. She is surrounded by a cast of equally colourful characters from the worlds of both theatre and court.
Rachel Adams takes the role of Nell, and Sean Glock plays Charles II.
Director Michael Rolfe said: “Plays about actors and the theatre can easily get a bit ‘luvvie’ and precious. There is nothing precious about this one. Bursting with energy, spirit and fun, it is a romp through the Restoration and a joyful celebration of theatre.”
Nell Gwynn runs from July 11 to 21.
Visit www.loft-theatre.co.uk for tickets and further details.