Fri 17 – Sat 25 April 2015 at 7.45pm (no show Sun 19)
Helen Scott, Howie Ripley and Roxana Graves in BLT’s April production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty, directed by Jane Buckland.
Compleat Female Stage Beauty
by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Jane Buckland
This lively, modern play is set in the early years of Charles II’s reign, when the King changes the law to allow female actors on the London stage. At the centre of the production is the Shakespearean actor, Kynaston, the most successful interpreter of female roles of his age, whose career is ended almost overnight by this ruling.
Jeffrey Hatcher’s script negotiates beautifully and honestly the theme of sexual identity and the importance placed on it by society, producing some moments that are bawdy and hilarious, others that are moving and poignant. Historical characters like Charles II, Nell Gwynn and Samuel Pepys all play prominent parts in the story. The production will be in period costume.
Edward Kynaston : Howie Ripley
Thomas Betterton : Matthew Platt
Samuel Pepys : Paul Ackroyd
Villiars : Bruce Wallace
Maria : Charis Anna Beyer
Lady Meresvale : Roxana Graves
Miss Frayne : Helen Scott
Sir Charles Sedley : Martin Phillips
Margaret Hughes : Megan McGery
Charles II : James Mercer
Nell Gwynn : Jaimi Keemer
Hyde : Paul Green
Mistress Revels : Jan Greenhough
Other parts played Tom Dignum, Michael Baker and members of the cast.
“A clever exploration of rich territory, the world of the English theater at the seventeenth-century moment when women were first allowed on the stage.”
– New York Times.
“An intimate psycho-sexual backstage historical comedy. Splendidly theatrical.”
– The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette