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Virtual Tour: Shakespeare and Nell Gwyn

Duration: 1 hour

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Virtual tour exploring the surprising connection between the Bard and the Bawd, the greatest playqright and the first female stand-up comedienne.

Shakespeare’s sister Joan married a hatmaker called Hart. Their grandson, Shakespeare’s great-nephew, Charles Hart, inherited the theatrical genes and became a leading actor on the Restoration stage. He was Nell Gwyn’s first lover and taught her stagecraft. She had two others both called Charles, including the King, Charles the Second, although Nell Gwyn called him Charles the Third. She became a great stand-up comedienne and actress in the bawdy comedies of the day. There had never been women on the stage before in English drama, as the Shakespeare tradition knew only boys with treble voices. Nell Gwyn was the first. This virtual tour looks at the life of Nell Gwyn, her relationship to Shakespeare and her pre-eminence as first English actress.  







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