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Stage Beauty
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Stage Beauty (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Stage Beauty -- A female theatre dresser creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century London theatre by playing Desedmona in Othello. But what will become of the male actor she once worked for and eventually replaced?
Stage Beauty -- A female theatre dresser creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century London theatre by playing Desedmona in Othello. But what will become of the male actor she once worked for and eventually replaced?


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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Jeffrey Hatcher (play)
Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay)
View company contact information for Stage Beauty on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 September 2004 (Ireland) See more »
She was the first of her kind. He was the last of his.
A female theatre dresser creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century London theatre by playing Desedmona in Othello. But what will become of the male actor she once worked for and eventually replaced? Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A Fascinating Search for What Is Male/Female On Stage See more (99 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Derek Hutchinson ... Stage Manager
Mark Letheren ... Male Emilia / Dickie

Claire Danes ... Maria Hughes

Billy Crudup ... Ned Kynaston

Tom Wilkinson ... Thomas Betterton

Ben Chaplin ... George Villiers II - Duke of Buckingham

Hugh Bonneville ... Samuel Pepys
Jack Kempton ... Call Boy

Alice Eve ... Miss Frayne

Fenella Woolgar ... Lady Meresvale

David Westhead ... Harry
Nick Barber ... Nick

Stephen Marcus ... Thomas Cockerell

Richard Griffiths ... Sir Charles Sedley

Zoë Tapper ... Nell Gwynn

Rupert Everett ... King Charles II

Edward Fox ... Sir Edward Hyde
Robin Dunn ... Butler
Isabella Calthorpe ... Lady Jane Bellamy
Andy Merchant ... 1st Thug
John Street ... 2nd Thug
John Tannen ... 3rd Thug

Tom Hollander ... Sir Peter Lely
Hermione Gulliford ... Mrs. Barry

Clare Higgins ... Mistress Revels
Madeleine Worrall ... Female Emilia
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Greg Bennett ... Courtier (uncredited)

Nancy Chandler ... Angelina Hooker (uncredited)
David Decio ... Sir Peter Lelys Painter Pupil (uncredited)

James Dodd ... Maria's Dresser (uncredited)
Ray Donn ... Thug (uncredited)
Joyia Fitch ... Female Bianca (uncredited)

Sean Francis George ... Cassio (uncredited)
Joe Gunn ... Chimney Sweeper (uncredited)

Natalie Hallam ... Auditioning Actress (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Eyre 
Writing credits
Jeffrey Hatcher (play "Compleat Female Stage Beauty")

Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay)

Produced by
Rachel Cohen .... executive producer
Robert De Niro .... producer
Michael Dreyer .... co-producer
Richard Eyre .... executive producer
Hardy Justice .... producer
Michael Kuhn .... executive producer
Amir Jacob Malin .... executive producer (as Amir Malin)
Malcolm Ritchie .... co-executive producer
Jane Rosenthal .... producer
James D. Stern .... executive producer
Jill Tandy .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
George Fenton 
Cinematography by
Andrew Dunn (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Tariq Anwar 
Casting by
Celestia Fox 
Production Design by
Jim Clay 
Art Direction by
Keith Slote 
Jan Spoczynski 
Set Decoration by
Caroline Smith 
Costume Design by
Tim Hatley 
Makeup Department
Roz Abery .... makeup artist: dailies
Beverley Binda .... hair stylist
Beverley Binda .... makeup artist
Jayne Buxton .... hair stylist
Jayne Buxton .... makeup artist
Karen Cohen .... make-up and hair artist
Julie Dartnell .... hair stylist
Julie Dartnell .... makeup artist
Helen Johnson .... hair stylist
Helen Johnson .... makeup artist
Chris Lyons .... special effects teeth
Lesley Smith .... hair stylist
Lesley Smith .... makeup artist
Deborah Taylor .... hair stylist
Deborah Taylor .... makeup artist
Lisa Westcott .... hair designer
Lisa Westcott .... makeup designer
Jeanette Redmond .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Meg Clark .... post-production supervisor
Tim Porter .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tariq Anwar .... second unit director
Natalie Beer .... additional assistant director
Martin Harrison .... first assistant director
Finn McGrath .... second assistant director
Chris Stoaling .... crowd assistant director
Charlie Waller .... third assistant director
Art Department
Joe Alley .... carpenter
Les Benson .... dressing props
Brian Bovingdon .... carpenter
Paul Carpenter .... carpenter
Graham Caulfield .... drapesman
Matt Chisholm .... dressing props
Nadeem Chughtai .... scenic artist
Jane Clark .... storyboard artist
Graham Cole .... supervising carpenter
Peter Collins .... carpenter
Emma de Polnay .... stand-by art director (as Emma de Polnay)
Gill Ducker .... production buyer
Michael Finlay .... supervising painter
Gavin Fitch .... assistant art director
Robbie Flynt .... stand-by stagehand (as Robbie Flint)
Oliver Goodier .... draughtsperson
Alan Grenham .... supervising painter
Paul Humbles .... stand-by props
Barnaby Inman .... carpenter (as Barney Inman)
Jonathan Ivall .... painter (as John Ivall)
David Jones .... chargehand stagehand
Jesse Jones .... drapesmaster
Amanda Leggatt .... art department runner
Ronald Leighton .... carpenter
Kevin Lloyd .... stagehand
David Lowery .... supervising carpenter
Cathal MacIlwaine .... stand-by carpenter
Thomas Martin .... construction manager
Tom Martin .... construction manager
Philip McDonald .... property master (as Phillip McDonald)
James H. McGee .... stagehand (as James McGee)
John McGee .... carpenter
Eamon McLoughlin .... supervising carpenter
Steve Mitchell .... scenic artist
Peter Mounsey .... painter
Neil Murrum .... dressing props
Barry O'Brien .... carpenter
John O'Brien .... hod carpenter
Roy O'Brien .... trainee carpenter
Craig Parratt .... carpenter
Michael Pelham .... painter
Jason Phelps .... carpenter
Khadeeja Rafique .... draughtsperson
Tom Roberts .... stand-by painter (as Tommy Roberts)
Zoe Robertson .... construction buyer
Ray Rose .... props storeman
Dave Stachini .... chargehand stagehand
Richard Stachini .... stagehand
Jeff Sullivan .... painter
Paul Turner .... stand-by props
Clive Ward .... hod painter
Paul Webb .... carpenter
Stephen Weston .... wood machinist
Matt Whelan .... carpenter (as Matthew Whelan)
Derek Whorlow .... supervising stagehand
Rohan Harris .... props (uncredited)
Louis Turner .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Christopher Ackland .... sound effects editor
Tariq Anwar .... dialogue editor
Ben Barker .... foley editor
Peter Bond .... dialogue editor
David Boulton .... adr mixer
Gareth Bull .... foley mixer
Peter Burgis .... foley artist
Paul Carr .... adr mixer
Derek Casari .... adr engineer
Colin Codner .... sound maintenance
Martin Cunningham .... sound assistant
Andie Derrick .... foley artist (as Andi Derrick)
Jim Greenhorn .... production sound mixer
Nigel Heath .... adr recordist
Dave Humphries .... adr mixer (as David Humphries)
Craig Irving .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Kenna .... consultant: Dolby sound
Mark Lafbery .... adr mixer
Charleen Richards .... adr mixer (as Charleen Richards-Steeves)
Martyn Sutton .... sound assistant
Ian Tapp .... foley recordist
Andy Walker .... dialogue editor
Christopher Wilson .... sound re-recording mixer (as Chris Wilson)
Special Effects by
Steve Benelisha .... assistant special effects technician
Stuart Brisdon .... special effects supervisor
Paul Clancy .... special effects senior technician
Mark Haddenham .... special effects senior technician
Dave Keen .... special effects senior technician (as David Keen)
Matthew Roberts .... special effects technician
Visual Effects by
Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor .... visual effects producer: MPC
Nicolas Aithadi .... 3D artist: MPC
Steve Boag .... digital title supervisor: Cine Image
Martin Bullard .... optical supervisor: titles, Cine Image
Michael Elson .... head of production: MPC
Dave Gurney .... optical camera: Cine Image
Douglas Larmour .... visual effects supervisor: MPC (as Doug Larmour)
Michelle Martin .... visual effects coordinator
Andy Middleton .... digital matte painter: MPC
Janine Pauke .... digital matte painter: MPC
Matthew Symonds .... digital compositing: titles, Cine Image
Simon Wicker .... senior digital matte painter: MPC
Tom Delmar .... stunt coordinator
Gordon Seed .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Anthony Allen .... electrician
Sebastian Barraclough .... video assist operator (as Seb Barraclough)
Ian Barwick .... electrician
Harry Bowers .... clapper loader: "a" camera
Sonny Burdis .... best boy
Ricky Churchouse .... electrician
Clive Coote .... still photographer
Benjamin Croce .... camera trainee
Chris Day .... rigging gaffer
Warwick Drucker .... additional grip
Andrew Dunn .... camera operator: "a" camera
Steve Dunn .... rigger
Jason Ellis .... focus puller: "b" camera
Colin Gallagher .... electrician
Sam Goldie .... clapper loader: "b" camera
Michael Hayes .... electrician
Robert Hooker .... stand-by rigger: Kingston-Upon-Thames & North Yorkshire (as Rob Hooker)
Malcolm Huse .... key grip
Mark Keeling .... electrician
Alison Lai .... clapper loader: dailies
Ronald Meeks .... h.o.d. rigger (as Ron Meeks)
Mark Milsome .... camera operator: "c" camera
Mark Milsome .... focus puller: "a" camera
Onkar Narang .... dimmer operator
Sam Phillips .... crane grip
Darren Piercy .... crane technician
Garth Sewell .... grip
David Smith .... gaffer
Gerry Vasbenter .... Steadicam operator
Gerry Vasbenter .... camera operator: "b" camera
Andrew Watson .... rigging gaffer
Peter Wing .... practical electrician
Casting Department
Vanessa Baker .... adr voice casting
Brendan Donnison .... adr voice casting
Alex Johnson .... assistant casting director
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sue Bradbear .... costume maker
Sue Bradbury .... seamstress
Anthony Brookman .... costume assistant
Sally Cairney .... costume assistant
Vandra Howard .... stand-by costumer
Jane Leonard .... stand-by costumer
Fiona McCann .... costume buyer
Caroline Olcesi .... costume assistant
David Otzen .... stand-by costumer
Nadine Powell .... costume trainee
Jackie Thomas .... costume assistant (as Jacky Thomas)
Caroline Waterman .... assistant costume designer
Hilary Watson .... wardrobe mistress
Robert Worley .... costume design assistant
Diane Wren .... costume assistant (as Dianne Wren)
Allison Wyldeck .... costume supervisor
Celia Yau .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Paul Ensby .... colorist
Steve Harrow .... post-production consultant
Eddy Kolkiewicz .... negative cutter
Andy Robinson .... negative cutter
Julian Scott .... off-line auto conform: Cine Image
Saska Simpson .... associate editor
John Stanborough .... color grader
Music Department
Geoff Alexander .... orchestrator (as Geoffrey Alexander)
Jonathan Allen .... music recording engineer: Abbey Road Studios
Sophie Cornet .... music editor
Isobel Griffiths .... musicians contractor
Nicole Jacob .... music coordinator
David Lawson .... music programmer
Steve Price .... music recording engineer: Angel recording Studios
Bill Silcock .... music preparation
Bruce White .... viola
Gavyn Wright .... orchestra leader
Transportation Department
Graham Dolloery .... driver: minibus (as Graham Dollery)
Georg Grohmann .... driver: Mr. Wilkinson (as George Grohman)
Lee Isgar .... unit driver
Steve Mitchard .... driver: Mr. Eyre
Steve Rogers .... unit driver
Simon Saunders .... unit driver
David Speirs .... driver: Mr. Crudup
Darren Leen .... driver: Claire Danes (uncredited)
Other crew
Alexandra Arlango .... assistant: Michael Kuhn
Geraldine Atlee .... representative: Qwerty Films
Philip Ball .... utility stand-in
Michael Barnes .... financial legal services
Alan M. Brunswick .... legal counsel: US, Manatt Phelps & Phillips (as Alan Brunswick)
Kofi Burke .... production accountant: Qwerty Films
Richards Butler .... legal services
Kathryn Craig .... head of legal and business affairs: Qwerty Films
Chris Cullum .... health and safety officer
Matt Curtis .... title designer
Steve Dent .... carriages
Thomas Doran .... stand-in: Mr. Crudup
Stephen Earner .... assistant production accountant
John Ensby .... laboratory contact
Kerrie Gant .... client liaison: Cine Image
Heidi Gower .... floor runner
Sally Grace .... additional dialect coach
Andrew Hildebrand .... representative: Qwerty Films
Ruth Hodgson .... completion guarantor: Film Finances
Joseph Jayawardena .... location unit manager
Karen Jones .... script supervisor
Kevin Kolovich .... accounting assistant
Lisa Koven .... legal counsel: US, Manatt Phelps & Phillips
David Lawson .... programmer
Gabby Le Rasle .... assistant production coordinator
Claire Lundberg .... assistant: Mr. Justice
Scarlett Mackmin .... choreographer
Charles McDonald .... unit publicist: McDonald & Rutter
Tory Michaels .... legal services
Liz Miller .... unit publicist: McDonald & Rutter
Sheila Fraser Milne .... completion guarantor: Film Finances
Lew Morgan .... location security
Sarah Nuttall .... representative: Qwerty Films
Kevin O'Shea .... insurance services: AON/Albert G. Ruben
Caroline Oxley-Mcleod .... unit nurse: Lake District
Richard Philipps .... legal services
Jurgen Proschinger .... finance manager: Qwerty Films
Sue Quinn .... location manager
Simon Sanderson .... production runner
Georgiana Sayer .... stand-in: Ms. Danes
Joan Schneider .... production coordinator
James Shirras .... completion guarantor: Film Finances
Sally Jo Sousa .... trainer: Spaniel (as Sally Sousa)
Aurelia Thomas .... assistant location manager
Katharine Tidy .... home economist
Dianne Twiddy .... production accountant
Joan Washington .... dialect coach
Colleen Woodcock .... representative: Qwerty Films
Mark Woolley .... chief financial officer: Qwerty Films
Tonia Wright .... assistant: Michael Dreyer and Richard Eyre
Andrew Golov .... studio executive (uncredited)
Sally Jo Sousa .... animal coordinator (uncredited)
Cathy Ziehl .... studio coordinator (uncredited)
Fabrizio Caracciolo .... thanks
Jane Hawley .... special thanks
Ed Herendeen .... special thanks
Jamie Laurenson .... special thanks
Marc Masterson .... special thanks
Jeffrey Morby .... special thanks
Tracey Scoffield .... special thanks
Nicholas Wright .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexual content and language
106 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Inspired very loosely by true events, with many characters based on actual personalities from the seventeenth-century stage. Ned Kynaston did play female roles, but also played male roles before and after women were allowed on stage. He would have been 20 in 1660, when the first woman appeared on stage. Margaret Hughes (Maria) is supposed to have been the first woman to appear in a stage production, aged 30. She did appear as Desdemona in Othello, on December 8 at the theater on Vere Street operated by the King's Company, whose manager was Thomas Killigrew, not Thomas Betterton as the film shows. Betterton was a successful theater manager later, but was only 25 in 1660. Other characters also were not historically the age that they appear to be in the film - Nell Gwynn would have been 10.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Samuel Pepys is telling Kynaston to play a man's role, Kynaston's lips are out of sync with his speech in some shots.See more »
Nell Gwynn:Charlie boy, where's his toy? Oh, your Majesty, let me see the crown!See more »
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32 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
A Fascinating Search for What Is Male/Female On Stage, 28 October 2004
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

"Stage Beauty" is a clever and moving combination of the period feel of "Shakespeare in Love" and the themes of "A Double Life." In the latter, Ronald Colman is an actor who immerses himself into his role as Othello and, as in "Beauty," continually repeats and reinterprets the murder scene, with increasing realism.

The emphasis here is on male/female gender roles on stage from just before to just after women are allowed on stage. Playwright/screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher's choice to use "Othello" as his prism is significant on many levels.

All the characters agree that the productions of the play at this time in the 1660's already included the artifice that the Moor is portrayed in blackface, though this is a serious drama of passion and not one of the lighter comedies or romances with hidden or mistaken identity. The final presentation of the key scene does have the on-screen audience terrified that the actors' animosity has led to all pretense being abandoned.

Hatcher simplifies the gender issues by focusing on a play where the leads, "Desdemona" and "Othello," are unambiguous in their sexual poles, which makes Billy Crudup's "Ned Kynaston" tortured self-discovery to move from one role to the other particularly fascinating. The movie includes a brief, comic debate about the ramifications of "Rosalind" in "As You Like It" in a time where a male actor would be portraying a Shakespearean heroine disguised as a man, in what we now consider 'trouser roles' (like "Portia" in "Merchant of Venice" or Viola in "Twelfth Night").

Set in the period of the Stuart Restoration when kings are in and out of exile and a brash cockney mistress masquerades as the queen, though Nell Gwynn's influence is doubtless exaggerated, the mise en scene is a society where all are play-acting in wigs and make-up. Ben Chaplin's Duke of Buckingham, in a much more leonine role that his milquetoasts in "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" or "Birthday Girl," wryly demonstrates as he cynically moves from an affair with "Kynaston" to a rich marriage.

Claire Danes's contrasting naturalness is luminous as she has no doubts about her femininity, but is frustrated in getting Kynaston to perceive it, and not just as another artifice. While it is an asymptotic flirtation as his sexuality is left indeterminate, it is marvelous to watch "Kynaston" tentatively and painfully learn to explore his masculine side that was suppressed since childhood, on stage and off.

The conclusion seems a cri de coeur for audiences to accept gay actors as "Stanley Kowalski" in "A Streetcar Named Desire," to get across that no matter how naturalistic the acting, it is still pretend.

Director Richard Eyre's camera work swirls around a bit too much to animate the choice dialogue, but there are also outdoor scenes of dirt, violence and cruelty that open up the action from the play, thus showing the theater as a refuge from reality.

George Fenton's score sounded marvelously appropriate to the period.

Crudup's and Danes's British accents are unfortunately a bit too bland, but convincing.

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