The year is 1669: a bawdy and troublesome time. The restoration of the monarchy has put an end to puritanical England, and theatres reopened after years of suppression. Upon his return from exile in France King Charles II decreed men were no longer to play the roles of women and so for the first time English actresses appeared on the stage, with audiences flocking to see the spectacle.
Playhouse Creatures focuses on five of the most famous women actors, including Nell Gwynn and Mary Betterton, in a moving and often comic account of their precarious lives on and off-stage: were they curiosities, sex objects, or professional artists?
With delicious absurd extracts from the heroic repertory and frantic dressing room scenes, the prevailing tone is comic but you are not allowed to forget the gutter waiting to reclaim these glittering figures.
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