Ensemble and York Theatre Royal presents

The Restoration of Nell Gwyn

by Steve Trafford with songs by Henry Purcell

“Brilliantly refreshing” 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★  London Theatre 1

“Intimate and beautifully sung” 
The Stage

“Steve Trafford’s play is sharply written, full of wit” 
The Reviews Hub

“The Restoration of Nell Gwyn is  bawdy, witty and a lot fun.”  
Gay Star news

“Oozingly flavoursome” 
The Times

Directed by Damian Cruden

A gorgeous new comedy, full of bawdy wit.

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 star of the Restoration stage, rages against the fate that may befall her if Charles dies. Margery, Nell’s maid, is no whore but a survivor whose fate too hangs on the life or death of the Royal patriarch.

We see Nell in breeches, a perfect boy. She sings like an angel. Margery dances, emptying chamber pots with priceless asides on sex, love, class and power… Wonderful roles for distinguished actresses Elizabeth Mansfield, Olivier Award nominee, and Angela Curran, star of ITV’s hit comedy series ‘Job Lot’. An intriguing reinterpretation of our national treasure Nell Gwyn and a timely celebration of female resilience in a world where women seldom thrive.

* There will be a Q&A after the performance on Fri 29 Jan with Beatrix Campbell OBE

The Restoration of Nell Gwyn is a great way to engage students 14+ studying a range of subjects including Theatre Studies and Drama, History, Politics and Women’s Studies. The play is lively, funny, packed with great moments and full of information.

  • Theatre studies (Restoration theatre explored through a contemporary play)
  • History (The English Revolution/Civil War and the Restoration)
  • Women’s Studies (Women and patriarchy in the 17th century and The First English Actresses)

A 'Learning Support Pack' accompanies the production (downloadable here)