The Shakespeare’s Globe production of Nell Gwynn is set to open in the West End in 2016, with Gemma Arterton starring in the title role.
Following its original sell-out run at the Globe earlier this year, the play transfers in to the West End for a strictly limited season at the Apollo Theatre from 4th February to 30th April 2016. Press night will be held on 12th February 2016.
Award-winning stage and screen actress Gemma Arterton takes on the title role in Jessica Swale’s critically acclaimed new play, which charts the rise of Gwynn from her roots in Coal Yard Theatre to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress.
Arterton was recently named Best Newcomer in a Musical at the 61st Evening Standard Theatre Awards for her role in Made in Dagenham at the Adelphi Theatre, which marked her musical theatre debut. Her other stage credits include The Duchess of Malfi (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick), The Master Builder (Almeida) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her film credits include Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Byzantium, Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Tamara Drewe, The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Quantum of Solace.
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 is selling oranges for sixpence. Little does she know who’s watching.
Nell Gwynn premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in September 2015. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the original production ran as the last show in the Globe’s 2015 summer season and featured Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the title role.
Jessica Swale delighted audiences in 2013 with her spirited Blue Stockings (Shakespeare’s Globe). Jessica is the Artistic Director of the Red-Handed Theatre Company, which she set up after training at the Central School of Speech and Drama and the University of Exeter. Recent productions include The School for Scandal, Twelfth Night, The Rivals (starring Celia Imrie) and The Belle’s Stratagem, for which she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Best Director. She also directed Bedlam at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2010 – the first work by a female playwright ever performed at the theatre.
Christopher Luscombe’s recent directing credits include Spamalot and The Rocky Horror Show (ATG), Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing for the RSC, Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), The Madness of George III (Bath Theatre Royal), and The History Boys (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Bath Theatre Royal/UK tour). He has also previously directed The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe). Christopher was nominated for an Olivier Award for his West End revival of When We Are Married. Originally an actor, his screen credits include The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep.
Nell Gwynn is produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Paula Marie Black.