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Pretty Witty Nell by Ryan J W Smith

18 - 22 July 2023

Smith’s 7th verse play, Pretty, Witty Nell® is a new and original one-woman tragicomic history, written entirely in rhyming iambic pentameter, that tells the true story of Nell Gwynne, the famous actress and mistress of the wild British monarch, King Charles II.

In the introduction to his forthcoming book of plays, ‘Rogue Shakespeare®: 3 plays’ which includes Pretty, Witty Nell®, Smith says he wrote the one-woman show as a celebration of both women on the stage; and of Nell, “a one-woman force of nature.” Smith asks, rhetorically, “what better way to celebrate the life of this absolutely amazing woman than by writing her a tribute in the style of theatre (rhyming iambic verse) that made her famous?” Pretty, Witty Nell® is indeed the first ever play about Nell Gwynne written in iambic verse.

The world premiere took place in Hollywood, California, in June 2019, where it delighted audiences and reviewers alike:

“a standout solo show - perfect!” - Broadway World

Pretty, Witty Nell® was also nominated for the Hollywood Fringe International Award – an award which Smith previously won twice in 2015 & 2016 with his verse plays, Love Labours Won and MacDeth! respectively.



Starring Hannah Attfield, Pretty, Witty Nell® (50 mins) played 6 unmissable performances at Barons Court Theatre!

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Reviews for Pretty Witty Nell

★★★★

Quite refined writing and lovely playing

★★★★

There is a lot of pleasure to be had in this kind of pastiche

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