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Nelly: A Folk Musical

This is the story of Nell Gwynne, a woman born into poverty who ended up being the most famous woman of her day. She was a fish hawker, orange seller and leading comedy actress, known to history as the mistress of Charles II.  And this is the point – she is really known to us because (whisper it) she was funny.

Her first two lovers were the actor-manager Charles Hart and poet Charles Sackville. So, as she told the king, he was her Charles the Third! She was adored by the people (as one of their own) but also loved by the posh, the poets and the playwrights. When Nelly died, one third of London’s population went to her funeral. Today, that’s over 3m people

If folk music is about anything, it is about storytelling. Stories to make you laugh, to make you think, to make you cry. Nelly’s story strikes all those chords and hits all those notes. As do our cracking tunes: singalong belters, thought-provokers, tear-jerkers. It’s all there. It’s life. Nelly: A Folk Musical contains songs written by Jo Freya, Robb Johnson, Reg Meuross, Lucy Ward, Boff Whalley and Dave Wilson (Winter Wilson). 

It’s said the whole world knows Nell Gwynne. Our play tries to show you why.

Written by Graham Hopkins.


Nelly – Emily Jane Brooks

All male roles – Conor Lynam

Musicians – Winter Wilson, Robb Johnson



COVID-19 precautions

Although the government has lifted many of the requirements around COVID-19 isolation rules, we are aware that many of our visitors are vulnerable and we want everyone to feel safe and comfortable. As such, we are continuing to provide hand sanitiser at our entrances, keep windows open to increase ventilation, and maintaining our reduced capacity of 80%. As audience members, we ask that you do not attend if you are showing symptoms or are testing positive, and that you wear a face covering if possible. If you have any concerns, please contact us on 020 8348 8716 and we will do our best to accommodate you.

For our free lunchtime concerts, we are also asking attendees to book in advance to limit numbers. Tickets are free, but do let us know if you can no longer attend so that we can release the spaces to others.