Review of the play - Compleat Female Stage Beauty

Recently I saw the play "Compleat Female Stage Beauty" at the City Lights Theater in San Jose, CA. The play is the based on the 17th century actor Edward Kynaston who had achieved great acclaim playing the roles of women in plays. When King Charles II changes the law and men are forbidden from playing women Kynaston's life is turned upside down.

It is difficult if not impossible to adequately cover all of the issues of gender and sexuality touched on in the play. Layered on top of this is the second class status of women as well as the tension between artistic expression and government authority. The play depicts an era when performances of plays had only recently become legal again and were still subject to government control. The relative liberty we experience in the more sophisticated portions of the world today is a recent phenomena.

The play is well written and the acting is very good in particular Thomas Gorrebeeck as Kynaston. The lighting and set are done well and compliment the flow of the play.

This is an interesting play and I recommend it.