Production of 'Playhouse Creatures' by April De Angelis
directed by Lindsay Jones
7th - 11th September 2021
It is 1663 and Charles II has returned to the throne after 17 years of Puritan suppression under Cromwell. It is a time of glittering opulence, decadence and excess – and one of Charles’s first acts is to re-open the playhouses.
For the first time, women are allowed on stage; the king and many others would come to see the newest beauties, often with the hope of taking one home. This joyous play brings historical characters to life; Mrs Betterton (wife of the actor manager), Elizabeth Barry and the brash youngster Nell Gwyn (orange-seller-come-actress) are among the characterful company.
Playhouse Creatures is brim full of theatrical vivacity and camaraderie as the women embrace their new found freedom.
But it comes at a price – comedy and tragedy collide as these female pioneers struggle for recognition, equality and a new real role for women.