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Nell Gwynn

Nell Gwynn’ by Jessica Swale
Directed by Tim Wormley-Healing

Audition – Sunday 23rd April 3:30pm at The Stables Theatre Hastings

Playing Dates: Friday 29th September – Saturday 7th October 2017

‘They’ve disgraced our trade. Ruined our art. They’ve put a woman on the stage’.

Nell Gwynn, our heroine
Rose Gwynn, Nell’s sister
Nancy, Nell’s dresser and confidante
Old Ma Gwynn, Nell’s mother, a brothel madam
Queen Katherine, Charles’s Portuguese wife
Lady Castlemaine, Charles’s most ambitious mistress
Louise de Keroualle. Charles’s French mistress
King Charles II, the King (obviously)
Charles Hart, leading actor in the King’s Company
Thomas Killigrew, actor-manager of the King’s Company
Edward Kynaston, actor in the King’s Company, plays the women’s parts
John Dryden, playwright
Lord Arlington, Charles II’s adviser
Ned Spigget, actor in training in the King’s Company

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 charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the king. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the court? And at what cost?

This exhilarating take on the heady world of Restoration theatre premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2015. It transferred to the West End in 2016 going on to win the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Time Out described Nell Gwynn as ‘superbly funny. A juicy, well-wrought thing of great fun, a wonderfully layered celebration of theatre, but most of all an apt homage to a woman incredibly ahead of her time

Auditions will include speech and movement and the ability to hold a tune may also be needed. Whoever plays Nell will need to be a ‘triple threat’ and manage all three!

Rehearsals will begin in early May with days and times to be agreed once the play is cast.

Audition pieces:


Act 1 Scene 2
Act 1 Scene 6 – the song ‘I can dance and I can sing’
Act 1 Scene 10
Act 2 Scene 12


Act 1 Scene 2
Act 2 Scene 1


Act 2 Scene 2
Act 2 Scene 8

Old Ma Gwynn

Act 2 Scene 1 (from page 83)

Queen Katherine (will need to speak in Portuguese)

Act 1 Scene 8

Old Ma Gwynn and Queen Katherine could be doubled up and played by one person

Lady Castlemaine

Act 1 Scene 4
Act 1 Scene 8

Louise de Keroualle (will need to speak in French)

Act 2 Scene 2

Lady Castlemaine and Louise de Keroualle could be doubled up and played by one person

King Charles II

Act 1 Scene 4
Act 1 Scene 10

Charles Hart

Act 1 Scene 2

Thomas Killigrew

Act 1 Scene 3

Edward Kynaston

Act 1 Scene 3

John Dryden

Act 1 Scene 5 (from page 43)

Lord Arlington

Act 1 Scene 12
Act 2 Scene 1

Ned Spigget

Act 1 Scene 1 (the Prologue)

We will also need some speaking and non-speaking ‘extras’ – a great opportunity to be part of the production for people with limited time as you would not be needed at very many rehearsals. Also, a great opportunity for people who want to gain some performance experience but don’t feel ready to take on a ‘named’ role.

Scripts are available from the Box Office as usual.

I look forward to seeing you at the Audition.

Tim Wormley-Healing.
07760 196375           01424 222658

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