Nell Gwynn, Loft Theatre, Leamington, July 11-21.
The year is 1660. Charles II, the Merry Monarch, has been restored to the throne and theatres have re-opened - with one major innovation.
By order of the king, women are now allowed to play women on stage, and among the first of this new breed of actresses is pretty, witty Nell Gwynn, who has risen from the poverty of Coal Yard Alley to stardom at Drury Lane and in the king's bed.
In Jessica Swale's award-winning comedy, Nell is a likeable opportunist, hard-driven yet ultimately a victim of love. Surrounded by a cast of equally colourful characters from Court and theatre, she's at the centre of a play that peppers sparkling dialogue with song and dance to create a raunchy sense of celebration.
With Rachel Adams in the role of Nell and Sean Glock as Charles II, director Michael Rolfe has assembled a large, talented cast for The Loft's new production.
"Plays about actors and the theatre can easily get a bit 'luvvie' and precious," he says. "There is nothing precious about this one. Bursting with energy, spirit and fun, it is a romp through the Restoration and a joyful celebration of theatre."
Tickets online at www.loft-theatre.co.uk, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01926 800360.
Pictured are (left to right) Emma Whitehead (Nancy), Rachel Adams (Nell Gwynn) and Elizabeth Champion (Rose Gwynn).