DonQui is most pleased to have snaffled a couple of tickets to see the play Nell Gwynn which has just opened in the West End. So he and Duchess find themselves making their way down Shaftesbury Avenue to check it out.
The story of Nell Gwynn and Charles II strikes a sympathetic chord with DonQui’s attitude to life. As the blurb from the theatre says:
Welcome to England, 1660. The Puritans have been sent packing as Charles II makes his triumphal return to London following the restoration of the monarchy. After years in France, the King brings with him an appreciation for the bawdy and the boisterous. Meanwhile, the young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges on Drury Lane. Nothing will ever be the same again.
DonQui thinks the play is great fun, well cast, well acted and well directed. There is just the right amount of humour and raunchiness interlacing the true story which is delivered with touches of real emotion.
The fully packed house love it, as does DonQui.
Gemma Arterton is utterly fantastic as Nell, fully living up to the original Nell Gwynn’s stage performance as described by Samuel Pepys:
But so great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before as Nell do this, both as a mad girl, then most and best of all when she comes in like a young gallant; and hath the notions and carriage of a spark the most that ever I saw any man have. It makes me, I confess, admire her.
DonQui must also confess to admire Gemma Arterton, even since watching her in the excellent re-make of St Trinians.
The character of Nancy is also brilliantly played by Michele Dotrice, best known as the long-suffering wife in the 70s TV series ’Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. DonQui thinks that she delivers one of the best comic moments through perfect timing and just a look.
DonQui thoroughly enjoyed himself and highly recommends trying to get hold of tickets.