‘Nell Gwynn’ by Jessica Swale


Directed by Barry Bowen

Read through – Wednesday 5th February, 19:30, HTC Rehearsal Rooms

Audition – Wednesday 12th February, 19:30, HTC Rehearsal Rooms


Rehearsals - will take place on Sundays (daytime) and Tuesday and Thursday evenings from Mid April. There will be some overlap with Abigail’s Party, but casting in both may be possible.

Performances Wednesday 24th  – Saturday 27th June at the Victoria Hall Theatre

Nell Gwynn is a comedic play telling of the rise of an unlikely heroine from orange-seller to celebrated actress and beloved mistress of the King. This celebration of the fun of the theatre is a brash romp which mixes Carry-On double entendres with a distinctly feminist message told through the lives of real historical people.

Chaotic, bawdy and funny this play offers a stage opportunity for an ensemble of around half-a-dozen men and ten-or-so women.


A play with some song and movement, not a musical, this is a play for strong actors who can move and sing a bit. The chorus ensemble is as important and busy as the named roles.

Most playing ages are around late twenties to mid-late thirties, except where shown. Roles marked * will double and form chorus ensemble.

The ladies:


Nell. Sexy, cheeky and strong heroine


Rose. Her sister and confidante


Nancy. Comical friend. (anywhere 30-50)


Ma Gwynn. Nell’s gin-ridden madam of a mother. *


Queen Catherine. Portuguese-speaking comedy role (40-50). *


Lady Castlemaine. Scheming ousted mistress to the King. *


Louise de Keroualle. French, beautiful, saucy mistress to the King *

Ensemble of street women and courtiers. 25-60

The men:


Killigrew. Much-pressured theatre manager. 40 plus


Charles Hart. Famous actor and romantic lead. 30-45


Dryden. Depressed but congenial playwright. Any age over 40


Kynaston.  Displaced actor of female roles. Comedy role. 25-40


Ned. Young troupe actor. 16-25 *


Charles II. The real-deal King. Regal, human, funny and splendid. 35-45


Arlington. King’s boring drag of an advisor.


Small ensemble of hecklers and courtiers. 25-60.

Interested? Register your interest and secure your ‘briefing pack’ from director Barry Bowen at welshbarry@hotmail.co.uk.