Our much anticipated 70th Anniversary production of Nell Gwynn opens in Hyde this Wednesday.
Swale's exhilarating take on the heady world of Restoration theatre 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?
This North West Amateur premiere comes at a timely point in history as the final night of the run coincides with the culmination of another royal romance between a member of the Monarchy and an actress, with the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. To celebrate this occasion we'll be serving wedding cake and prosecco to audience members on the Saturday evening.
Following Nell Gwynn’s premiere at Shakespeare's Globe and West End transfer in 2015/16 starring Gemma Arterton, the play won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy before and completing a UK Tour in Spring last year. RLT are honoured to be one of the first amateur groups in the UK to be given permission to perform this bawdy modern classic.
As well as the royal connection, the play also portrays a key moment in theatrical history, it is 1660 and 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. As a young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges for sixpence Drury Lane, she is on the verge of becoming a trailblazer as one of the first women allowed on stage in a previously male-orientated business.
With songs based on those of the period by Nigel Hess and authentic choreography, Jessica Swale’s warm-hearted, bawdy bio-drama is full of humour and is the perfect celebration of royal romance and 70 years of theatre from RLT.
For a taste of the show - click here to watch our newly released trailer.