Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Star in Nell Gwynn at Shakespeare’s Globe | Playbill

News Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Star in Nell Gwynn at Shakespeare’s Globe Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who recently starred in the films "Belle" (winning the 2014 BIFA Award) and "Beyond the Lights" and has also starred in "Larry Crowne" opposite Tom Hanks, is to star in the title role of Jessica Swale's Nell Gwynn, beginning performances Sept. 19 prior to an official opening Sept. 24 for a run through Oct. 11 at Shakespeare's Globe, as the last show in the theatre's summer season.

Set in 1660, after the fall of the Puritans and the restoration of Charles II to the throne, the play is a celebration of life in the theatre that charts the rise of a charming but unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain's most celebrated actress and the king’s consort. 

Swale's previous plays include Blue Stockings (seen at the Globe in 2013), and she also worked as a director at the Globe on Nell Leyshon's Bedlam in 2010, which was the first work by a female playwright ever performed at the theatre.

It will be directed by Christopher Luscombe, who has previously directed The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Comedy of Errors at the Globe. He has also directed Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing for the RSC, and Spamalot and The Rocky Horror Show (U.K. tours and West End). He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his West End revival of When We Are Married.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7401 9919 or visit

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