Nell Gwynn


Nell Gwynn banner



‘every role is superbly performed’



‘this is a right royal treat’



‘the chief delight lies in watching Arterton’

After a critically-acclaimed, sell-out season at Shakespeare’s Globe, Jessica Swale’s rollicking restoration play Nell Gwynn transfers to the Apollo Theatre in February 2016, starring Gemma Arterton. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the play follows the true story of the exuberant Nell Gwynn, who rose from lowly orange-seller to England’s favourite actress.

Nell Gwynn is the recent recipient of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, up against stiff competition from Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Hand to God and A Christmas Carol. Further Olivier Award nominations included Gemma Arterton for Best Actress, alongside Michele Dotrice, who was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Set in 1660, Nell Gwynn pays her way by selling oranges on Drury Lane, unaware that she has a very secret and very royal admirer. After returning from exile and being restored to the throne, Charles II brings with him a love of all things French, which soon transforms London. In an age where women were not allowed on stage, Gwynn battles to become one of Britain’s favoured actresses, winning the heart of Charles II on the way.

Described by Samuel Pepys as ‘pretty, witty Nell,’ Arterton will play the charming and cheeky Nell. Don’t miss out on what is yet another successful West End transfer. Nell Gwynn opened at the Apollo Theatre on February 12th and is set to play until April 30th 2016.

Cast and Creativenell gwynn satellite

Nell Gwynn is directed by Christopher Luscombe, whose credits include Spamalot and The Madness of King George III, starring David Haig. The play also features design by the prolific Hugh Durrant, with original compositions by Nigel Heiss.

Gemma Arterton stars as Nell, after most recently appearing as Rita O’Grady in Made in Dagenham, which won her an Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Newcomer in a Musical. Well-known for her role in St Trinians, Arterton has also appeared in The Quantum of Solace and Tamara Drewe, and was also the title role in The Duchess of Malfi in 2014 at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Further cast members include Michele Dotrice as Nancy, Michael Garner as Thomas Killigrew, Greg Haiste as Edward Kynaston, Peter McGovern as Ned Spigget, David Rintoul as Lord Arlington, Anneika Rose as Rose Gwynn, Nicholas Shaw as John Dryden, David Sturzaker as Charles II, Jay Taylor as Charles Hart, Sasha Waddell as Lady Castlemaine/Louise de Keroualle and Sarah Woodward as Old Ma Gwynn/Queen Catherine. Ensemble members include Paige Carter, Matthew Durkan, George Lennings and Ellie Leah.

Show Lengths and Times

Nell Gwynn opened at the Apollo Theatre London on February 12th and is set to run until April 30th 2016. Performances are at 7:30pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30pm.

Show running time is approximately 2hrs and 35mins, including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

Nell Gwynn is recommended for ages 12 and up, with adult language and references of a sexual nature. Please note that the Apollo Theatre does not supply booster seats.



Tickets for Nell Gwynn at the Apollo Theatre London are now on sale and you can book them above, by using the search form on the right of the page.


Have you seen Nell Gwynn? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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