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The Restoration of Nell Gwyn

The Restoration of Nell Gwyn

Steve Trafford

Oberon Books

“An intimate two-hander, with Nell, raddled and anxious, awaiting news of the dying king... Trafford's writing is full of lively similes and metaphors... featuring colourful dialogue and beautifully sung Purcell.” –The Stage


Full of humor and bawdy wit, this new comedy transports us into the wanton world of the English Restoration. A new comedy by Steve Trafford with songs by Henry Purcell.

King Charles 2nd lies ill, Nell Gwyn, his royal whore, once the brightest star of the Restoration theatre, rages against her fate. What will become of her if Charles is summoned to his Maker? What perils will befall the English nation? Mistress Gwyn and Margery, her maid, lead us a merry dance, filled with their laughter, their tears, and Nell’s enchanting songs of the Baroque: A rollicking romp which ends with a sting in its tail.

Eleanor ‘Nell’ Gwyn was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called ‘pretty, witty Nell’ by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. She was the most famous Restoration actress and possessed a prodigious comic talent. Gwyn had two sons by King Charles: Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726); and James Beauclerk (1671–1680). The surname of her sons is pronounced 'Bo-Clare'. Charles was created Earl of Burford and later Duke of St. Albans.

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