Women make a bid to be taken seriously at theatres

Playhouse Creatures is at Chichester Festival Theatre's Theatre On The Fly from July 19 until August 11. Pictured is Charlotte Beaumont.
Playhouse Creatures is at Chichester Festival Theatre's Theatre On The Fly from July 19 until August 11. Pictured is Charlotte Beaumont.
Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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Chichester Festival Theatre has been nurturing young directors by helping them put together their directorial debuts.

The second production at the theatre’s temporary Theatre On The Fly is April De Angelis’ Playhouse Creatures, running from next Thursday until August 11.

Directed by Michael Oakley, it is set in the Restoration era when King Charles II – the Merry Monarch – has been restored to the throne and, at his command, the theatres have finally re-opened.

Things have changed and, for the first time in English history, women are allowed to perform on stage.

But in a glittering and bawdy age where selling oranges and baring cleavage seem to be the only talents required, how will they ever be taken seriously?

Alexandra Gilbreath plays Mrs Betterton, whose work includes The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet (alongside David Tennant, both playing the title roles), The Tamer Tamed, The Winter’s Tale and Merry Wives: The Musical.

The cast also includes Charlotte Beaumont, Kirsty Besterman, Fiona Hampton and Susan Tracy, who returns to Chichester following her roles in Festival 2011’s The Deep Blue Sea and Rattigan’s Nijinsky.

n Tickets cost £17 from Chichester Festival Theatre on (01243) 781312 or go to cft.org.uk/totf.