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Stage Beauty Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The true story of two performers whose careers were changed forever by a shift in gender roles on the British stage comes to the screen in this adaptation of the play Compleat Female Stage Beauty by Jeffrey Hatcher. In London, in the latter half of the 17th century, Ned Kynaston (Billy Crudup) is a noted star of the legitimate theater with an unusual specialty -- at a time when it was considered unseemly for women to work as thespians, Kynaston specialized in female roles, and was described by one writer as the most beautiful woman on the London stage. With the help of his faithful dresser, Maria Hughes (Claire Danes), Kynaston can turn himself into a striking actress in front of the footlights, and is starring opposite Thomas Betterton (Tom Wilkinson) in a production of Shakespeare's Othello when, while still in costume after a performance, he is propositioned by theatrical impresario Sir Charles Sedley (Richard Griffiths). The sexually open-minded Sedley isn't discouraged to learn Kynaston is a man, but he is bitterly angered by the actor's flip rejection of his advances. Sedley takes revenge against Kynaston by hiring a gang of criminals to beat him up. With Betterton's production of Othello closed while the leading "lady" recuperates, Hughes sees an opportunity and stages an underground version of the play, casting herself as Desdemona. While she lacks Kynaston's dramatic skills, the daring of her appearance on-stage creates a sensation, and King Charles II (Rupert Everett), a noted theater buff, is so taken with Hughes that he declares women should play women from now on. But as Hughes' star rises, Kynaston's quickly falls, and he becomes a bitter, forgotten man. When the novelty of Hughes' gender wears off and her failings as an thespian become obvious, she turns to her former friend Kynaston, hoping he can teach her to be as good an actress as he was. Stage Beauty's supporting cast includes Ben Chaplin, Edward Fox, and Hugh Bonneville. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:October 15, 2004

Cast

Billy Crudup
as Ned Kynaston
Claire Danes
as Maria Hughes
Rupert Everett
as King Charles II
Tom Wilkinson
as Thomas Betterton
Ben Chaplin
as George Villars, Duke of Buckingham
Hugh Bonneville
as Samuel Pepys
Richard Griffiths
as Sir Charles Sedley
Edward Fox
as Sir Edward Hyde
Zoe Tapper
as Nell Gwynn
Tom Hollander
as Sir Peter Lely
Clare Higgins
as Mistress Revels
Jack Kempton
as Call Boy
Derek Hutchinson
as Stage Manager
Mark Letheren
as Male Emilia/Dickie
Alice Eve
as Miss Frayne
Fenella Woolgar
as Lady Meresvale
David Westhead
as Harry
Nick Barber
as Nick
Stephen Marcus
as Thomas Cockerell
Isabella Calthorpe
as Lady Jane Bellamy
Andy Merchant
as 1st Thug
John Tannen
as 3rd Thug
Hermione Gulliford
as Mrs. Barry
Madeleine Worrall
as Female Emilia
David Westhead
as Harry
John Tannen
as 3rd Thug
Andy Merchant
as 1st Thug
Hermione Gulliford
as Mrs. Barry
Jack Kempton
as Call Boy
Isabella Calthorpe
as Lady Jane Bellamy
Nick Barber
as Nick
Stephen Marcus
as Thomas Cockerell
Tom Hollander
as Sir Peter Lely
Fenella Woolgar
as Lady Meresvale
Alice Eve
as Miss Frayne
Clare Higgins
as Mistress Revels
Mark Letheren
as Male Emilia/Dickie
Derek Hutchinson
as Stage Manager

Crew

Richard Eyre
Director
Robert De Niro
Producer
Hardy Justice
Producer
Jane Rosenthal
Producer
Jeffrey Hatcher
Play Author
Jeffrey Hatcher
Screenwriter
Andrew Dunn
Cinematographer
George Fenton
Composer (Music Score)
Tariq Anwar
Editor
Jim Clay
Production Designer
Keith Slote
Art Director
Jan Spoczynski
Art Director
Michael Dreyer
Co-producer
Richard Eyre
Executive Producer
James D. Stern
Executive Producer
Rachel Cohen
Executive Producer
Michael Kuhn
Executive Producer
Tim Hatley
Costume Designer
Caroline Smith
Set Decorator
Andrew Dunn
Camera Operator
Mark Milsome
Camera Operator
Gerry Vasbenter
Camera Operator
Gordon Seed
Stunts
Scarlett Mackmin
Choreography
Celestia Fox
Casting
Sam Goldie
Camera Loader
Caroline Oxley-McLeod
Foley Editor
Finn McGrath
Second Assistant Director
Gareth Bull
Foley Mixer
Gabrielle Le Rasle
Assistant Production Coordinator
Joseph Jayawardena
Unit Production Manager
Claire Lundberg
Personal Assistant
Stuart Brisdon
Special Effects Supervisor
Cathal Macilwaine
Standby Carpenter
Lisa Westcott
Makeup
Lisa Westcott
Hair Styles
Julie Dartnell
Hair Styles
Julie Dartnell
Makeup
Clive Coote
Still Photographer
Heidi Gower
Runner
Ben Barker
Foley Editor
Anthony Allen
Electrician
Gerry Vasbenter
Steadicam Operator
Tom Delmar
Stunts Coordinator
Tonia Wright
Personal Assistant
Peter Burgis
Foley Artist
Anthony Brookman
Costumes Assistant
Craig Irving
Re-Recording Mixer
Gavin Fitch
Assistant Art Director
Celia Yau
Costumes Assistant
Harry Bowers
Camera Loader
Nicola Barnes
Research
Garth Sewell
Grip
Ricky Churchouse
Electrician
Malcolm Ritchie
Co-Executive Producer
David Keen
Special Effects Technician
Matthew Whelan
Carpenter
Simon Sanderson
Runner
Jill Tandy
Co-Executive Producer
Mark Keeling
Electrician
Sue Quinn
Location Manager
Mark Lafbery
ADR Mixer
John Ivall
Painter
Colin Gallagher
Electrician
Caroline Olcesi
Costumes Assistant
Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor
Visual Effects Producer
Allison Wyldeck
Costumes Supervisor
Gill Ducker
Buyer
Oliver Goodier
Draftsman
Charlie Waller
Third Assistant Director
Phillip McDonald
Properties Master
Khadeeja Rafique
Draftsman
Jim Greenhorn
Production Sound Mixer
Tariq Anwar
Dialogue Editor
Sophie Cornet
Music Editor
Peter Mounsey
Painter
Alexandra Arlango
Personal Assistant
Tariq Anwar
ADR Editor
Craig Parratt
Carpenter
Malcolm Huse
Key Grip
David Humphries
ADR Mixer
Saska Simpson
Associate Editor
Peter Wing
Electrician
Brian Bovingdon
Carpenter
Brendan Donnison
Voice Casting
Ronald Leighton
Carpenter
Mark Milsome
Focus Puller
Eddy Kolkiewicz
Negative Cutter
Caroline Waterman
Assistant Costume Designer
Michael Pelham
Painter
Paul Clancy
Special Effects Technician
Meg Clark
Post Production Supervisor
Aurelia Thomas
Assistant Location Manager
Joan Schneider
Production Coordinator
Jeff Sullivan
Painter
Amanda Leggatt
Runner
Mark Haddenham
Special Effects Technician
Beverly Binda
Makeup
Beverly Binda
Hair Styles
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