Playhouse Creatures follows the wins and trials of female actors in 1669

CREATURES: Playhouse Creatures cast, coming to RPAC on August 31. Photo Kelly McGannon.

CREATURES: Playhouse Creatures cast, coming to RPAC on August 31. Photo Kelly McGannon.

The year is 1669: a bawdy and uproarious time. The return of King Charles II has brought an end to the frugalities of puritanical England. Theatres have just reopened after years of suppression, and for the first time, English actresses are appearing on the public stage.

Playhouse Creatures is the story of five of the most famous and trail-blazing actresses of this time, including Nell Gwynn and Mary Betterton. This award-winning theatre piece follows their triumphs, their trials, and their struggle to be taken seriously as legitimate actors; at a time when acting was not yet seen as respectable means of employment for a woman.  These actresses are pioneers fighting for their careers and seeking a genuine status as artists equal with the male actors.

Playhouse Creatures celebrates a hugely significant milestone in theatre history, as well as being an important piece for showcasing the talents of women, on and off the stage. Featuring an all-female cast with roles that challenge the actors, as well as the audience, this production is a contemporary avenue for feminist voices to be heard in a performance space. An ensemble of five of Canberra’s most esteemed female actors grace the stage and ignite the passion that was felt by women actors in 17th century London.

In its opening season in Canberra, the play was the winner of the Canberra Area Theatre Awards for Best Ensemble, Best Director (Jordan Best) and Best Production. 

See this moving and often comic account of the precarious lives of these restoration actresses when Playhouse Creatures comes to the Redland Performing Arts Centre at 7.30pm on Friday,  August 31. Tickets are $20–$47 and can be booked  on 3829 8131 or rpac.com.au (booking fees are $4.30 by phone and $5 online per transaction).      

The show contains strong coarse language, partial nudity and adult themes. It is not recommended for ages under 16 years.

WIN: Redland City Bulletin has one double pass (value $94) to give away. To be in the draw to win, enter your details below by 9am on Monday, August 20. Conditions may apply. Winners will be contacted by a representative from RPAC and their names announced online.