Gemma Arterton Will Play an Orange Seller Who Becomes a Star in Nell Gwynn | Playbill

News Gemma Arterton Will Play an Orange Seller Who Becomes a Star in Nell Gwynn Gemma Arterton will return to the West End to star in the transfer of Jessica Swale's Nell Gwynn, about the 17th century actress and royal mistress, at the Apollo Theatre.

Gemma Arterton Photo by Simon Turtle

Arterton was last seen the musical Made in Dagenham. Nell Gwynn, which had a run at Shakespeare's Globe last summer, will begin performances Feb. 4 prior to an official opening Feb. 12.

Arterton began her stage career at Shakespeare's Globe where she appeared in Love's Labour's Lost and The Duchess of Malfi. Other West End credits include The Little Dog Laughed; she has also appeared at the Almeida in The Master Builder. Her screen credits include the title role in "Tamara Drewe," the Bond film "Quantum of Solace," and "Clash of the Titans." 

She now plays the title role of Nell Gwynn, one of the first — and most acclaimed — women to appear on the London stage. Set in 1660, when the Puritans have run away with their drab grey tails between their legs and Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, French and sexy, Nell Gwynn is set at Drury Lane Theatre where the young title character is selling oranges for sixpence. Little does she know who's watching.
 Swale's play charts the rise of this unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain's most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the court? And at what cost?

The production is directed by Christopher Luscombe, whose recent directorial credits include Spamalot and The Rock Horror Show on tour and in the West End, as well as The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Comedy of Errors both at Shakespeare's Globe). It's being produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Paula Marie Black.

To book tickets, which go on general sale Dec. 3 and are booking through April 30, contact the box office on 0330 333 4809 or visit

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