Playhouse Creatures

by April de Angelis

Directed by Andy Curry

Upstage Theatre, York 10th – 14th July 2012

It’s 1670 and for the first time – actresses are now allowed to perform on the English stage.

Amidst the bear pits of the theatres, five actresses struggle to push themselves to the forefront, fighting against the prejudice of the industry, the preconceptions of the public and the bitter rivalries they share.

It is a world in which they are seen as little more than whores, ogled and abused by their audience, underpaid by their bosses and where ageing brings only unemployment.

April de Angelis’ brash, thought-provoking and hilarious play brings to the stage some of the historic actresses of the day – Nell Gwyn, Rebecca Marshall and Mrs Betterton. It is a glimpse backstage at the camaraderie, rivalry and the extreme lengths these ‘Creatures’ will go to for success in this dark new world.

"Brashly humorous, provocative, even truculent, but intelligent, passionately feminine and proto-feminist too...Playhouse Creatures is a mightily impressive start for Hedgepig in a production as memorable as that company name. "

− York Press

"Playhouse Creatures is an object example of the growing importance of theatre and literature in York...Roxanna Klimaszewska glows as she plays the part Mrs. Rebecca Marshall, the stage constant around whom the rise and fall of the other ladies is measured...Gemma Sharp properly captures the tragedy of the stage as Mrs. Elizabeth Farley...Doll Common is played exquisitely by Barbara Miller who manages this roll perfectly, never upstaging the others yet never vanishing entirely..."

− One & Other magazine



Gemma Sharp

Mrs Elizabeth Farley

Anna Rose James

Nell Gwynn

Roxanna Klimaszewska

Mrs Rebecca Marshall -

Lindsay Smith

Mrs Mary Betterton -

Barbara Miller

Doll Common


Andy Curry


Alexander King


Julia Smith

Costume Designer

Kelli Zezulka

Lighting Designer

Mike Ritchie


Chloe Furze

Makeup Designer

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