The Restoration of Nell Gwyn

A new comedy by Steve Trafford
With songs by Henry Purcell
  • Directed by Damian Cruden
  • Designed by Richard Aylwin
  • Lighting by Nao Nagai
  • Elizabeth Mansfield as Nell Gwyn
  • Angela Curran as Margery

A fine vignette of Britain, then and now, where the personal is heroically, hilariously political. King Charles II lies ill, Nell his royal whore once the brightest star of the Restoration stage rages against her fate. What will become of her if Charles is summoned to his Maker? What perils will befall the English nation?

Her faithful, wry maidservant Margery is no whore but a survivor of bloody tumult whose fate, like Nell’s, is hoist on the life and death of the Royal patriarch. We see Nell in breeches, a perfect boy, we hear her sing like an angel while Margery dances and empties chamber pots with priceless asides on sex, love, class and power.

This new two-hander offers an intriguing re-interpretation of our national treasure Nell Gwyn with wonderful roles for distinguished actresses Elizabeth Mansfield, Olivier Award nominee ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ and Angela Curran, star of ITV’s hit comedy series ‘Job Lot’.

A remarkable and timely celebration of female resilience in a world where women seldom thrive

Beatrix Campbell OBE

An Ensemble/York Theatre Royal co-production.

The Restoration of Nell Gwyn played at Park 90, Park Theatre, London, from 26 January - 20 February 2016

  • For a lively, accessible read about the historical context of The Restoration of Nell Gwyn, including timelines, articles and information about the English Civil War, Women in the 17th Century, the Restoration Theatre and more, please read our Learning Resource Pack
  • Read reviews of the show at York Theatre Royal Studio and Park 90, London.
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Touring performances in 2014
  • York Theatre Royal Studio
  • Greenwich Theatre
  • Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
  • The Hawth Studio, Crawley
  • Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury on Thames
  • Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead
  • Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham
  • Salisbury Playhouse
  • Sarah Thorne Memorial Theatre, Broadstairs
Performances in 2016
  • Park 90, Park Theatre, London
The Restoration of Nell Gwyn The Restoration of Nell Gwyn
The Restoration of Nell Gwyn
The Restoration of Nell Gwyn
The Restoration of Nell Gwyn

Photos by Anthony Robling