Full Casting Announced for Tours of NELL GWYNN and SILVER LINING

English Touring Theatre's Artistic Director Richard Twyman today announces full casting for the tours of Jessica Swale's Olivier Award-winning Nell Gwynn and the world première of Sandi Toksvig's Silver Lining.

Joining the previously announced Laura Pitt-Pulford in Nell Gwynn, are Esh Alladi (Edward Kynaston), Nicholas Bishop (John Dryden), Pandora Clifford (Lady Castlemaine / Louise de Keroualle), Thea Collings (Ensemble), Michael Cochrane (Lord Arlington), Phillipa Flynn (Ensemble), Clive Hayward (Thomas Killigrew), Jack Helsby (Ensemble), Joanne Howarth (Queen Catherine / Old Ma Gwynn), Pepter Lunkuse (Rose Gwynn), George Jennings (Ned Spigget), Sam Marks (Charles Hart), Ben Righton (Charles II), Mossie Smith (Nancy) and Leon Stewart (Ensemble). It opens at the Lowry in Salford before performances at Theatre Royal Brighton, Malvern Theatre, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Hall for Cornwall, The Grand Blackpool, Edinburgh King's Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath.

Also announced today is the final cast member for English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston's world première production of Sandi Toksvig's Silver Lining. Theo Toksvig makes his professional stage debut, having graduated from Drama Centre last year, and completes the company, joining the previously announced Rachel Davies, Kezia Josephs, Maggie McCarthy, Joanna Munro, SheiLA Reid and Amanda Walker. It opens on 8 February at Rose Theatre Kingston before touring to New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, Oxford Playhouse, Cambridge Arts Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Theatre by the Lake, York Theatre Royal and the Lowry.

Nell Gwynn

By Jessica Swale

Director: Christopher Luscombe; Designer: Hugh Durrant; Composer: Nigel Hess

Choreographer: Charlotte Broom; Lighting Designer: Nick Richings; Sound Designer: Jeremy Dunn

Opens at The Lowry, Salford from 1 - 4 March

And then on tour

1660 Drury Lane. Charles II has cast off London's drab, puritanical past with a love of all things loud and sexy. A young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges for sixpence in the burgeoning West End theatre scene unaware of who is in the audience one fateful night.

Jessica Swale's warm-hearted, bawdy bio-drama (winner of 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy) tells the story of an unlikely heroine, who went from lowly orange seller to win the adoration of the public and the heart of the King.

Jessica Swale is an award-winning playwright and the Artistic Director of Red Handed Theatre Company. Her first play, Blue Stockings was performed at Shakespeare's Globe in 2012 and is a Drama GCSE set text. Other writing includes, All's Will that Ends Will, Thomas Tallis, The Playhouse Apprentice, adaptations of Sense and Sensibility, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Secret Garden, Stig of the Dump and a new play, The Mission, about illegal adoptions in the 1920s. In 2012 she won a BAFTA JJ Screenwriting Bursary and is current commissions include the screenplay of Nell Gwynn for Working Title, the Horrible Histories Movie and Love [Sic], a new play for BBC Radio 4. As director, Swale set up Red Handed Theatre Company in 2006, where her work includes The Belle's Stratagem, The Busy Body, The Rivals, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Southwark Playhouse), The School for Scandal (Park Theatre) and Palace of the End (Arcola Theatre).

Laura Pitt-Pulford plays Nell Gwynn. Her theatre credits include Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Oliver!, The Sound of Music, Piaf, Hello Dolly! (Curve), The Smallest Show on Earth (UK tour), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), The Return of the Soldier (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), A Man of No Importance (Salisbury Playhouse), Mack and Mabel and Parade (Southwark Playhouse), title role in Sweet Charity (Belfast MAC), The Little Prince (Lyric Belfast), Guys and Dolls (UK tour) and Copacabana (Watermill Theatre, Newbury).

Christopher Luscombe directs. His directing credits in London include The Shakespeare Revue (RSC and Vaudeville Theatre), Star Quality and The Madness of George III (Apollo Theatre), Home and Beauty (Lyric Hammersmith), Fascinating Aïda - One Last Flutter and The Rocky Horror Show (Harold Pinter Theatre), The Comedy of Errors, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare's Globe), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Enjoy (Gielgud Theatre), Alphabetical Order (Hampstead Theatre), When We Are Married (Garrick Theatre), Travels With My Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Spamalot (Playhouse Theatre). His RSC productions of Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, seen last year in Stratford-upon-Avon, have been screened in cinemas worldwide and released on DVD and transferred to Chichester and Theatre Royal Haymarket.


By Sandi Toksvig

Director: Rebecca Gatward; Designer: Michael Taylor; Sound and Projection Designer: Mic Pool; Lighting Designer: Mark Doubleday; Associate Director: Spencer Noll

Press night: 8 February at Rose Theatre Kingston

And then on UK tour until 8 April

On one dark and stormy night in the upper day room of the Silver Retirement Home, five elderly ladies are trading stories of their remarkable lives. With the storm floods rising and no rescue team in sight, the ladies are faced with the sudden realisation that in order to survive they are going to have to do what they have done for their entire lives - do it themselves!

Silver Lining is the new comedy by Sandi Toksvig. It tells the tale of five extraordinary yet forgotten women, who come together one treacherous night to recreate The Great Escape - senior citizen style!

Sandi Toksvig is a writer, actor, presenter and political activist. Her previous writing for the stage includes the musical Big Night Out at the Little Sands Picture Palace and The Pocket Dream. Until last year she was the presenter of BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz and in October 2016 took over from Stephen Fry as the host of BBC television quiz show QI. She is the joint founder of the Women's Equality Party which was established in March 2015.

SheiLA Reid plays Gloria. Her theatre credits include Pericles (Shakespeare's Globe), Othello and The Three Sisters (The Old Vic), Romeo and Juliet, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and Richard III (RSC), When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream And Shout and My Mother Said I Never Should (Royal Court Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Pornography (Tricycle Theatre), Into The Woods (Donmar Warehouse), Filomena (Almeida Theatre), Hedda Gabler (National Theatre) and at Edinburgh Festival, Love Among the Butterflies, Terrible with Raisons In It (both of which she wrote) and Maurice's Jubilee (also UK tour). For television, she is perhaps best known for her role as Madge in ITV comedy Benidorm. Her other television credits include Call the Midwife, Doctor Who, Father Brown and Psychobitches.

Rebecca Gatward directs. Her theatre credits include The Night Watch (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester), for West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Accrington Pals and Beryl (also Rose Theatre Kingston), The Trial Of Dennis The Menace (Southbank Centre), The Comedy Of Errors, The Merchant Of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe), Pandas (Traverse Theatre), The Indian Boy (RSC Complete Works Festival), The Canterbury Tales, directed in partnership with Greg Doran and Jonathan Munby and Thyestes (RSC), Touched (Salisbury Playhouse) and Cancer Tales (New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich). She was Company Director on This Is Our Youth with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck at the Garrick Theatre. Her work for television includes EastEnders (winner Broadcast award and soap award nominations for best episode and scene), Casualty, Doctors and Sadie J.


English Touring Theatre is one of the UK's most successful and exciting production companies, widely regarded as England's national theatre of touring. The company works with leading artists to stage an eclectic mix of new and classic work for audiences throughout the UK and overseas; theatre that is thrilling, popular and, above all, entertaining. Upcoming tours include Sandi Toksvig's Silver Lining which opens at Rose Theatre Kingston in February and the Olivier Award winning Shakespeare's Globe production of Nell Gwynn, starring Laura Pitt-Pulford.




Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and The Playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education. The theatre boasts a distinguished track record of critically acclaimed new writing, from playwrights including Howard Brenton (Anne Boleyn, Doctor Scroggy's War, In Extremis), Claire van Kampen (Farinelli and the King), Helen Edmundson (The Heresy of Love) and Richard Bean (Pitcairn). Jessica Swale's Blue Stockings and Nell Gwynn both received their premieres at Shakespeare's Globe. Previous collaborations with English Touring Theatre include national tours of Howard Brenton's Ann Boleyn in 2012 and Eternal Love in 2014.


Founded by Sir Peter Hall, and modelled on the original Elizabethan Rose Theatre on London's Bankside, Rose Theatre Kingston is the largest producing theatre in South West London.

Since opening in 2008, the Rose has collaborated with a range of directors, playwrights and producing partners to create vibrant, engaging and inspiring productions. Recent works include Zach Helm's Good Canary directed by John Malkovich, Shakespeare's trilogy The Wars of the Roses directed by Trevor Nunn, David Hare's The Absence of War directed by Jeremy Herrin and Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather (West End transfer and Olivier Award nominee) directed by Sally Cookson.

With over 150,000 visitors a year, the Rose enjoys artistic and critical acclaim from its own productions and co-productions as well as from hosting the work of renowned theatre companies including Royal Shakespeare Company, English Touring Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Propeller and Northern Broadsides. With an auditorium that lends itself to both intimate and epic scale productions, the Rose has established itself as one of the most exciting theatres in the UK.

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