The Restoration of Nell Gwyn by Steve Trafford

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The Restoration of Nell Gwyn

“A gorgeous, witty and elegant re-interpretation of our national treasure, Nell Gwyn. This new comedy is set in her Pall Mall parlour, in 1685, where the ‘Protestant Whore’ paces, laments, and panics at the impending death of Charles II, her lover and patron. Destitution beckons after a lifetime ‘applying her genius to delighting the king.’

Nell’s crisis is shadowed by her faithful, wry, maidservant Margery, whose own story is a secret narrative of popular but defeated republicanism. She’s no whore, but another survivor of bloody tumult whose fate is likewise hoist on the life and death of a patriarch. We see Nell in breeches, a perfect boy, we hear her sing like an angel; Margery dances, empties chamber pots, and delivers both companionship and commentary on revolution, restoration, lust, love, sex, class, and power.

Written with a richness of language that captures the bawdy wit of the Restoration stage, interwoven with Henry Purcell’s haunting songs of the English Baroque, this play is a fine vignette of Britain then and now in which the personal is heroically, hilariously political.”

Beatrix Campbell OBE

Publisher: Oberon Books Ltd ISBN: 9781783193028 Pages: 64