THINGS TO COME - COMPLEAT FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY
interesting rarity from CTW – The Compleat Female Stage Beauty
[filmed in 2004 as Stage Beauty] – by American dramatist Jeffrey
Hatcher. It's a witty, bawdy look at the London of Samuel Pepys and
Nell Gwynn, and the radical changes that swept through the acting
profession during the Restoration.
central character, Edward Kynaston, played
at the Old Court by Philip John Hart,
was one of the last of the Restoration “boy actors” - young men
who specialised in playing women on stage. By 1661
actors like Kynaston were playing both male and female roles
(sometimes in different productions of the same play) with equal
success. Kynaston was, according to Pepys, a beautiful man who
made convincing women on the stage and was thus blessed with the
opportunity to play many of the plum dramatic female roles of the
day. He was, in essence, the compleat actor! Jeffrey
explores both gender and social issues with his
customary frankness: not
a suitable play for children.
plays at the Old Court in Springfield
June to 2nd July, and
you can also catch it in the uniquely atmospheric setting of
Ingatestone Hall on the
20th, 21st and 22nd July.
for both from www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres
or call the Civic
Office on 01245 606505.