'Pretty, witty Nell' to bring charms to stage.
"LET not poor Nelly starve" -these were the last words of Charles II on his deathbed.
Indeed, 'pretty, witty Nell' captured the heart of the Merry Monarch as well as London audiences of the 17th century - and she continues to do so today, with a play about her life taking to the stage at The Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon this month.
It follows the story of the rise to fame of Nell Gwynne and is told with wit and charm - and some cracking songs. The story is occassionally bawdy and, if not entirely historically accurate, definitely highly amusing.
The play, written by Jessica Swale, won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016 after it transferred from the Globe to the West End.
In this production, the lead role is played by Nicol Cortese, who will be remembered by Criterion audiences in her role as the mistress of another monarch in Anne Boleyn. Pete Gillam portrays Charles II.
Nell Gwynn plays at the Criterion Theatre in Berkeley Road South from Saturday, March 17 to Saturday, March 24 and starts at 7.30pm.
Visit criteriontheatre.co.uk for tickets or book in person at the box office, open every Wednesday from 8pm to 9pm and each play night from 6.30pm to 9pm.
Nicol Cortese as Nell Gwynn in the play of the same name