Writer Jessica Swale has created a love story from what is a Cinderella tale of an orange-seller who catches the eye and heart of the king. It's also very much a love story about acting too and the history of theatre at a time when women were starting to emerge on stage instead of boy actors in the female roles.
What's refreshing is that this lively romp is also very feminist in nature. The comedy skips along at a lively pace, even including current jokes about Brexit.
It follows on from Swale's well-received debut Blue Stockings, which celebrated the first women to get a university education. She is giving women not just a voice but complex and interesting characters to play on stage.
You can tell that Laura Pitt-Pulford relishes the lead role of Nell and shines bright with boldness and audacity that makes it obvious why she would attract a king.
Laura Pitt-Pulford obviously relishes the role of Nell.
Swale also gives Nell's lovers - actor Charles Hart (Same Marks), who gives Nell her big break, and the King (Ben Righton), more depth than just pretty faces. There's also an animated, lovable group of supporting players from Nell's theatre troupe.
The play presented by English Touring Theatre was co-produced with Shakespeare's Globe, where it was first performed, so it is fitting that this is where the tour will conclude.
It's an unmissable comedy that deserved its Olivier Award, so tickets are sure to sell fast.