Based in the 1660’s of London’s theatres, this film is about the rules of gender roles in theatre production, and means to change them for everyone’s benefit. Ned Kynaston is the homosexual cross-dressing actor who has been playing female parts in plays for years, particularly Desdemona in Othello, he also has a close relationship with a male co-actor. One day however, the rules of only men playing women could change when aspiring actress Maria auditions as Kynaston’s praised role, Desdemona, and soon enough, King Charles II decides to make the law that all female roles should be played only by women. Maria becomes a star, while Ned finds himself out of work. But after a while, Ned finds it in his nature to forgive Maria’s aspiration, they may even fall in love, and Charles may proclaim women will be played by either gender. —IMDb
Sir Richard Charles Hastings Eyre CBE (born 28 March 1943) is an English director of film, theatre, television, and opera.
Eyre was educated at Sherborne School, an independent school for boys in the market town of Sherborne in north-west Dorset in south-west England, followed by Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge and Lincoln College at the University of Oxford. Eyre became the first President of Rose Bruford College in July 2010. He lives in Brook Green, West London.
Theatre and opera
Eyre was Associate Director at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh from 1967 to 1972. He won STV Awards for the Best Production in Scotland in 1969, 1970 and 1971. He was artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse from 1973-78 where he commissioned and directed many new plays, including Trevor Griffith’s Comedians.
Eyre was director of the National Theatre (which became the Royal National Theatre during his time there) between 1987 and 1997, having previously directed… read more
Serviceable look at stage life under the Restoration, when female roles still had to be played by male actors. Danes plays a stage hand who causes a sensation when she becomes the first woman to play Desdemona, while Crudup is an erstwhile, castrati-like star who finds his station threatened. The writing’s lively enough to provide a diverting account of the saga, lavish production and all.