The Compleat Female Stage Beauty
12:02pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in What's on
Mappa Mundi’s new production The Compleat Female Stage Beauty is set in the theatre-world of London shortly after the return to power of the monarchy in 1660. The Restoration of Charles II, following decades of puritan austerity, was a time of new-found confidence and exuberance, a period of innovation and change. The Compleat Female Stage Beauty will be performed at Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan, September 26 to 28 at 7.30pm.
It was in this period that London’s theatres, boarded up and silent during Cromwell’s regime, were reopened to great public acclaim. Against the background of London’s theatres, brothels and parks, this wonderfully funny but poignant play explores the life of one individual – Ned Kynaston, the best-known and most beloved actor of the age, famous for being the most beautiful woman on the English stage.
For Edward Kynaston, the ‘stage beauty’ of the title was an actor who specialised in female roles, in the tradition of Shakespeare’s day. But in 1662 Charles II, with his penchant for the ladies and following the French fashion, allowed women onto the stage for the first time. With the birth of ‘the actress’, Kynaston’s career was threatened and a great theatrical tradition came to an end.
Jeffrey Hatcher’s bold and witty drama (a Restoration comedy in its own right) is based on Kynaston’s true story and is populated with well-known figures from one of history’s most beloved eras: the diary-scribbling Samuel Pepys, the Merry Monarch Charles II and ‘pretty witty’ Nell Gwynn, the Dury Lane orange-seller made good. Hatcher has produced a brilliant historical comedy, packed with period detail,
but as alive and fresh and modern as though it were set today.
Tickets for The Compleat Female Stage Beauty September 26 to 28 are £13 (£11) and are available now from Mwldan's Box Office on 01239 621200, online at www.mwldan.co.uk.
Suitable for ages 16 plus.