Set in the 1660s when London’s theatres only allowed male actors – including for the female roles. But then Maria Hughes, a female theatre dresser, creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century theatre by playing Desedmona in Othello.
The King’s mistress, Nell Gwynn, is instrumental in Charles II’s decision to allow actresses to portray female characters on the stage.
Lady Meresvale (Fenella Woolgar) and her friend Miss Frayne (Alice Eve) are theatregoers and, initially, fans of the actor Ned Kynaston.
But, hang about, wasn’t Nell Gwynn an actress before she became the King’s mistress (and not even the first actress to be his mistress)? Oh, what the hell, it’s only a movie.