The story of the first women to take to the London stage is the subject of the latest production at the Headgate Theatre.

Playhouse Creatures begins its four-night run on Wednesday, April 3, and runs until Saturday.

Directed by Kerry King it featured a super cast including Eleanor Kent Dyson, Charlotte Harknett, Joanna Peacock, Poppy Borges-Wilby and Charlotte Still.

Kerry says: "We did it at Manningtree quite a few years ago and what I like about it is the mix of poignancy and humour. It has its dark moments but also comic ones as well which meant I really needed a great cast to put it on.

"I had 20 women turn up for the auditions and was very pleased with the quality, especially those who had a real desire to do the play."

Playwright April De Angelis has taken five famous figures - Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Farley, Rebecca Marshall, Doll Common and Mary Betterton - to recall the true lives of Restoration actresses. The year is 1669 so also expect a bawdy and troublesome time along with some pretty earthy language as well.

Kerry adds: "I always think that if its a script I don't want to put down, then its a story worth telling, and that was the case with this."

Playhouse Creatures is at the Headgate Theatre, Chapel Street North, Colchester, at 7.45pm each night with a 2.30pm performance on the Saturday.

Tickets are £13, £12 concessions, available from 01206 366000.