Newsletter

Spring 2022.

Hi,

We are delighted to announce that we will be returning to Wycombe Abbey School in October, with our exciting production of Nell Gwynn by British playwright Jessica Swale.

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We are thrilled to announce that Roger Saper will be directing this for us.

And at Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is causing stirrings amongst the theatregoers.

Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain's most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the Court?

A message from our director - Nell Gwynn the woman and the play.

I wanted to give some further background to what I regard as a fantastic play and story, and I am absolutely delighted to be asked to bring this to life for Fourways.  I hope to inspire and enthuse all members to come along to audition (there are parts for all) and come with me on this incredible journey of Nell  - “Pretty Witty Nell” as termed by Samuel Pepys.The author, Jessica Swales, has a modern, refreshing and exciting style.  It leaves the director and team leeway to express and interpret a well written story and add their own music to some clever lyrics.  Jessica Swales has also written one of the most recent adaptations for the stage of Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd, featuring another strong female lead well ahead of her time, Bathsheba Everdene.

The time is London, 1660. King Charles II has ascended to the English throne at the age of 30, and restores theatre and performance following the Puritanical reign of Oliver Cromwell.  He lives a hedonistic lifestyle, with a love of all things flamboyant, extravagant and sexy.  At the playhouse in Drury Lane, orange-hawker, Nell Gwynn, is making waves of her own.  When she takes to the stage as one of the first female actors, she causes bawdy havoc in a male-dominated world, and soon comes to the attention of the King.  Rising from her roots in the slums, she becomes the nation’s most celebrated actress and, infamously, the favourite mistress of the King.  However, her meteoric rise to fame comes with its own dangers.  With her family and her friends at risk, Nell must decide where her future lies….on the stage or at the Palace.

 

Our story also introduces us to the wonderful diverse characters in Thomas Killigrew’s Theatre company and most importantly, the discovery of Nell Gwynn.  The action is set in and around the Playhouse in Drury Lane and we are immediately thrown into a new production of John Dryden, the playwright, showing his wares to an unruly audience.  In those days female roles which were incredibly badly written were played by boys, and Killigrew’s company was no exception.

 

We meet the Gwyn family including her sister and her Mother who is a “madame”, the actors, members of the court, Charles II, his mistresses and a large and boisterous ensemble.  We can cast up to 15/20 all told. We look to the cast to sing (mostly all as choruses), some to dance, and learn how to walk and talk as they portray themselves as residents of an exciting era in history.  The play will stop only to take breath at the interval.  We will have huge fun on the journey so I hope you will come and find out more.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to bring this wonderful show to life.

Romeo and Juliet

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Rehearsals are now well underway and cast and crew are working hard to bring theatre back to Hall Barn.

It is being directed by Maureen Buhkt at Home Farm, a new location on the Hall Barn Estate. This is an exciting new joint venture with The Chiltern Shakespeare Company,  and a fabulous setting.

Performances will be over 1 week, Tues 5th – Sun 10th July 2022 at Hall Barn.

In the meantime, take care and keep an eye out for further announcements via email and on this website!

Very best wishes,

Carolyn Kendall

ChairmanFourways Theatre Company/Chiltern Shakespeare Company

Carolyn

London,1660. King Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, extravagant, and sexy.

Performances dates will  be;

Thurs 27th, Fri 28th and Sat 29th October 2022.

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