Playhouse creatures

September/October 2016

The year is 1669, a bawdy and troublesome time. Theatres have just reopened after seventeen years of Puritan suppression. There is a surge in dramatic writing and the first English actresses appear on stage. Playhouse Creatures by April de Angelis focuses on five of the most famous (Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Farley, Rebecca Marshall, Doll Common and Mary Betterton) to provide a moving and often comic account of the precarious lives of Restoration actresses.

Produced as a student showcase and with a strongly original conceptual approach, we played at the Bloomsbury Studio Theatre in London. This production drew out the feminist undertones of the play and its continued relevance to issues faced in modern society, using energetic jigs, lots of hay, and an especially composed soundtrack of live music.

Director: Alice Langley

Playwright: April de Angelis

Producer: Hannah Parker

Designer: Alisa Kalyanova

Lighting Technician: Chris Hoyle

Fight Choreographer: Lisa VillaMil

Composer: Samuel Beagles

Stage Managers: Astrid Rothmeier & Tierney Nolen


Nell Gwyn - Esme Bayley

Mrs Betterton - Hannah Parker

Mrs Farley - Zoë Bullock

Doll Common - Samantha Mclaughlin

Mrs Marshall - Amelia Noble


Skin Deep is a fledgling company. Above is a description of work that the co-founders have collaborated on, and which we feel fit within the ethos of the company.