Nell Gwynn – the play

Nell Gwynn was one of the many mistresses of King Charles II and one of two who he continued to liaise with until his death.  The play tracks the story of their meeting and their continued relationship over the years.

Nell Gwynn was an actress – only the second female actress at that time (previously all female roles were played by males – usually young boys).  Charles enjoyed the theatre and that is where he met Nell – the rest, as they say, is history.

The play is a superb mix of drama and humour and is very true to the actual events that took place in Restoration England once Charles had been restored to the throne after the Cromwellian era of austerity.

The play is set in mid-1600’s and is being set in that era – costumes and set will reflect that era.  The designs for both set and costumes have been designed by a professional (retired) costumier and set designer and are spectacular.


Nell Gwynn - Audition Dates

Auditions will take place for the roles noted below on

Saturday 13th July 1pm – 4pm


Sunday 14th July 1pm – 4 pm

Green Room, 16th Ave Theatre, 16th Avenue, Tauranga

Please contact Delwyn Weatherley - if you would like to make a specific time to audition or to request a copy of the script.  Alternatively, just turn up on the day and we will fit you in.


Nell Gwynn - Production Dates

Production dates are as follows:

Sunday 17 Nov Double Sunday

Wednesday 20 Nov Final Dress with FOH audience

Friday 22 Nov 7.30pm Opening Night

Saturday 23 Nov 7.30pm

Sunday 24 Nov 2.00pm Matinee

Tuesday 26 Nov – Saturday 30 Nov 7.30pm

Sunday 1 Dec 2.00pm Matinee

Tuesday 3 Dec – Friday 6 Dec 7.30pm

Saturday 7 Dec 7.30pm Final Night 

Sunday 8 Dec Pack-Out – all cast members are expected to be available for pack-out



Important Notes

All cast and crew must be (or become) a member of 16th Ave Theatre prior to rehearsals starting.  Membership forms will be available at auditions.

While talent is important, casting is made on several factors.  The director is keen to include actors who demonstrate an ability to develop and take instruction and who will commit to working to fulfill the requirements of their role.

If you are cast in the production, you MUST be available for all rehearsals (unless arranged in advance) and available for all production dates

 If you know you will not be available for some rehearsal dates, please let us know at the time of your audition so that we can take this into account.  This is generally not an issue if known in advance.




Nell Gwynn – the team

We have been able to assemble an excellent production team:


Dennis Fenwick

Production Manager

Delwyn Weatherley

Costume Design

Alf Weston

Set Design

Alf Weston


Laura Weatherley



Stage Manager

Rob Weatherley

Lighting Design

Sam Denize


John Ten Velde


… supported by the excellent Front of House and backstage teams of 16th Avenue Theatre


Roles being Auditioned

The following roles are being auditioned on these days:

Female Roles

Rose Gwynn – Nell’s sister

Age group 25 - 35

Rose is a ‘working girl’ and has always sought to keep Nell from that life.

She is streetwise and provides the small voice of reason in Nell’s life, being the elder sister.  While Nell steps up as the consort of King Charles, Rose remains much as she always was.

In this role you will be required to use a suitable cockney accent (or similar).  Not essential that you are ‘pitch perfect’ at audition as we do have a vocal coach for this.


Nancy – Nell’s dresser and confidante

Age group 25 - 35

Nancy is a member of the theatre group that Nell becomes part of. Nancy is her dresser and is party (sometimes secretly) to many of the conversations that Nell has in her dressing room.

Like Rose you will need to have a cockney (or similar) accent.


Lady Castlemaine – Charle’s most ambitious mistress

Age group 30 - 35

Very sure of herself until Nell comes on the scene, she is seen to be using the King to further her own position.  She eventually gets ‘set aside’ in favour of Nell and is not happy about it.

Needs an actor who can deliver a confident and often haughty demeanor.  She knows her position with Charles and is surprised (and unhappy) when she is ejected from court


Company roles

5 Female company members are required to provide extra roles as appropriate

The ability to sing in tune and dance a little is important to these roles.  This is not a musical as such – but there are some scenes with singing and dance.

In places you will be required to be off the stage and out in the audience so the ability to maintain character in this situation is very important


Male Roles

Charles Hart – Leading actor in the theatre company

Age group 30 - 40

Charles Hart is mentor to Nell Gwynn – he picks her off the street and trains her in the art of acting.  He is the one who Nell will act with when she starts on the stage as part of the company.  There is some attraction between them – until King Charles comes on the scene.  The Hart becomes very unhappy with Nell as she becomes more involved with the King and less interested in the company.


Edward Kynaston – actor in the company who plays all the women’s parts

Age group 25 - 35

Up until Nell arrives, Kynaston played all the female roles in any of the plays.  He is seriously put out when Nell takes over as the resident female.

Will require and actor who can develop the character of the role of the female actor but without being too feminine.


John Dryden – Playwright

Age group 25 - 35

John Dryden is the playwright of the company and writes all the plays that they perform.  He appears to be not a particularly good writer until Nell gives him some pointers.

He struggles to get the plays written on time but does get there in the end.


Lord Arlington – adviser to King Charles II

Arlington is the King’s advisor and as such is often frustrated by the lack of interest in court affairs shown by the King.  He is also in cahoots with Lady Castlemaine in ‘managing’ the King but not very successfully.

Requires an actor who can be confident and sometime pompous – he has after all the ear of the king.


Company roles

Some additional male company members are required to provide extra roles as appropriate.

The ability to sing in tune and dance a little is important to these roles.  This is not a musical as such – but there are some scenes with singing and dance.

In places you will be required to be off the stage and out in the audience so the ability to maintain character in this situation is very important.