Following its critical acclaim and a sell-out run at Shakespeare’s Globe, Nell Gwynn will be on in the West End for a strictly limited season from tonight.
It is 1660. The Puritans have run away with their drab grey tails between their legs. Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, French and sexy. And at Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn (Gemma Arterton) is selling oranges for sixpence. Little does she know who’s watching.
Award-winning Gemma Arterton (The Duchess of Malfi, Made in Dagenham, Quantum of Solace) stars as cheeky, charming and clever Nell Gwynn, one of the first, and most acclaimed, women to appear on the London stage.
Jessica Swale’s blissfully entertaining new play, Nell Gwynn, charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the court? And at what cost?
Photos: Tristram Kenton