IMDb > Stage Beauty (2004)
Stage Beauty
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Stage Beauty (2004) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 20 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
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?


User Rating:
7.2/10   8,396 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 7% 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:
Dazzlingly Entertaining, A Tour De Force 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 »
Ned Kynaston:A woman playing a woman? Where's the trick in that?See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
47 out of 59 people found the following review useful.
Dazzlingly Entertaining, A Tour De Force, 22 October 2004

Before the Great Fire and the Great Plague of the mid-seventeenth century, London slowly, joyously awoke to the end of the Interregnum, that dark period of the evil regicide, Cromwell and his dull and dim son and successor. Theaters shut down during the Protectorate now reopened and the die-hard, dour Puritans either doffed their somber garb and decamped for more favorable vice-free venues or joined the fun.

Director Richard Eyre and script author Jeffrey Hatcher (who wrote the play on which "Stage Beauty" is derived) set the screen with a feast of authentic costumes and an almost palpable ambiance of a great city resurrecting a rich cultural life, at least for those of means.

But, as has been said, the play is the thing and the acting here is uniformly engrossing, indeed superb.

Based more or less on history, the film chronicles an awkward and for many painful evolution of law and theater, the two intertwined. For when Charles II was restored to the throne lost by his father (who also lost something else of even more estimable value), theaters reopened but under an old law that forbade the presence of actresses on the stage. The great female roles of Shakespeare were performed by men, some of whom were the subjects of audience and patron adulation for their skills of gender mimicry.

Ned Keynaston (Billy Crudop) is the leader of the pack, a star of the stage whose Desdemona is the height of his career. Serving as his dresser is Maria (Clair Danes), a frustrated actress who mouths the lines of Desdemona from the side of the stage as Ned wows the punters.

Maria actually gets to act behind Ned's back but in a less than first-line theater, her costume borrowed, to be generous, from the unsuspecting Ned.

What follows is a comedy and a drama as the king (Rupert Everett), at the urging of one of his mistresses, Nell Gynn (newcomer Zoe Tapper) proclaims that women may take on the roles of their sex and the cadre of female impersonators must seek new and gender authentic roles. At first amused, then devastated by a loss of roles, income and prestige, Ned slides to singing bawdy songs in drag to a somewhat low(er) class clientele in a sink run by a foulmouthed harridan. But under the protection of a genuinely odious, rotund and foul Sir Charles (Richard Griffith), Maria becomes the toast of the town for her fine acting.

Sexual attraction equally matched by a moving ambiguity permeates both the roles played by Maria and Ned and their off-stage lives. Maria is in love with Ned who is, at least, potentially bisexual while actually intimate with one of the king's favorites, the second Duke of Buckingham (Ben Chaplin). Buckingham was, in actuality, one of the most complex characters during Charles's two decade exile and then restoration to the throne. A conniver and master manipulator, here his skills are shown as being wholly adapted to surviving in a court attended by intrigue at every turn.

Eyre projects role reversal both with Ned and Maria's theater life and their increasing personal but never simple involvement. Can he make love to a woman? Does he know himself what his orientation is? There is a certain contemporaneity to the artfully acted issues raised in this mid-1600s scenario.

Eyre could not have selected a better cast. Crudop is penetrating as a man whose whole, strange persona is transformed in an instant by a monarch's command. Everett is disarmingly foppish as the Stuart monarch but in a critical scene he reveals his deep, lasting resentment over his father's and his dynasty's fate as he orders women to be allowed to perform. Edward Fox is splendid in short takes as Charles's key minister, Sir Edward Hyde (the Earl of Clarendon but he's never identified with his proper peerage title).

Zoe Tapper may well have studied the life of her character, "the Protestant Whore" (so known and loved by the London underclass to distinguish her from the despised "Catholic Whore" who alternated with Nell for the king's company and body (forget about the queen-she doesn't even make an appearance here). She's crude, raw, vulgar, sentimental, loyal and cunning - she IS Nell Gynn.

Hugh Bonneville is the randy, compulsive diarist Sir Samuel Pepys, father of the Royal Navy, here a stage door Johnny, a voyeur. Ben Chaplin as the Duke of Buckingham is just the right admixture of randiness and a healthy regard for the penalty that can be incurred by going too far over the edge of conventionality. And Tom Wilkinson as Ned's and then Maria's stage impresario combines business acumen with a soft human touch.

But special kudos go to Clair Danes - this is her best performance to date. She runs the gamut of emotions from helpless subservience to repressive laws to sprightly awakening of her worth to deep confusion about her priorities and needs. She inhabits the role of Maria with skill and grace. An Oscar-worthy display.

The score is fine, briskly and authentically complementing the story. And for the first time ever in a movie a king of England is shown cavorting in the royal rack with his mistress while six adorable King Charles Spaniels look on.


Was the above review useful to you?
See more (99 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Stage Beauty (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
'That new ending' hazeleyes422
What did you think about the ending? (Contains spoiler) Red-125
Question about stuff on actresses faces angyep3
Willam from Rupaul's drag race blairsylvester
This is appalling (spoilers) gabisaenz
One liner that made me have a laughing fit rdswords
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Libertine Fellini Satyricon Marie Antoinette My Own Private Idaho The Witnesses
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.